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Monday, 12 April, 2021

Trinidad & Tobago judge orders Venezuelan migrant children back

The OAS envoy, David Smolansky, denounced the deportation of a group of migrants that included 16 minors on Sunday and cataloged the action as a cruel atrocity. But, a judge of the island ordered the party (who was waiting in pirogues in the high seas) escorted back by the Caribbean nation military Monday morning.

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A Trinidad and Tobago judge ordered early Monday morning that the Caribbean nation military escorts the group of 19 deported Venezuelan migrants back, which includes 16 minors, a 4-month-old baby among them, after a decision to deport them back in boats.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago deported this Sunday, November 22, a group of Venezuelan children, including the baby. Without their parents, they were sent back in pirogues with a small group of three other Venezuelan adult migrants deported.

David Smolansky, the representative of the National Assembly legislative before the Organization of American States (the OAS does not recognize the Nicolas Maduro regime), denounced the move as cruel and brought the issue to the international community.

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After reports of the deportation went viral, a local judge reversed the order Monday morning, arguing that asylum and deportation proceedings for the group had not been complete, The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian reported.

“A High Court Judge has ordered the T&T Defence Force to return a group of Venezuelan migrant women and children, who were deported with legal proceedings pending yesterday,” The Guardian reported.

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Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams made the order at the end of a protracted emergency virtual hearing last night. Quinlan-Williams ordered that the 19 people brought into custody in time for a follow-up hearing this afternoon.”

Smolansky described the deportation of the children as cruel and an atrocity. The defense had introduced a habeas corpus, a request that was ignored by the Trinitarian authorities.

The Guardian also reported that the boats carrying the migrants had not entered Venezuelan waters, waiting for an act of mercy from T&T authorities. The archipelago nation has received some 40,000 Venezuelan migrants.

“It is important to remember that Trinidad and Tobago ratified the American Convention on Human Rights and the 1951 Refugee Convention. Both instruments protect migrants and refugees from deportation,” the commissioner wrote on his Twitter account.

He also warned that the 16 deported children are in great danger because the route took it by the boat on which they got deported get used by irregular groups linked to human trafficking and smuggling.

Congresswoman Mariela Magallanes also questioned that the Trinitarian migration office did not wait, despite the introduction of emergency habeas corpus.

“Despite the attempts of the lawyers and the weather alert of the island, they got embarked on boats,” she wrote on the social network.

“We hold the authorities of that country responsible for the lives of the minor Venezuelan citizens. It is an inhumane, cruel, and criminal act of how our fellow citizens on the island are subjecting,” added the parliamentarian.

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