Immigrants entering through legal ports will not be criminalised – Min. Greenidge

DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 23, 2018

At a press conference today Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, noted Guyana will not criminalise immigrants entering the country through legal ports.

He noted that any non-Guyanese entering the country are required to come into the country by its lawful entry points, verify where they are coming from and do not fall into a category that is considered problematic.

These guidelines were established following concerns about the need to avoid criminalising these persons for immigration infractions Minister Greenidge noted.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge

Questioned specifically about Venezuelans entering Guyana, Minister Greenidge said, “the region as a whole is encouraging countries to try and not deport these people or jail them for immigration infractions at least in the current era where there are special problems in Venezuela giving rise to the movement of people.”

The economic crisis in Venezuela has triggered massive migration to Latin American and Caribbean countries.  There have been reports in the local media of Venezuelans flooding into indigenous communities in the hinterland. The government has since set up a multi-agency committee headed by Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix.

Minister Greenidge noted that Guyanese returning from the neighbouring country will have to prove their citizenship.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been active in leading national consideration of policy on the migration and ensuring that it is consistent with international norms and regional concerns.

At the international level, the migration crisis has triggered international conferences aimed at agreeing on broad principles and rules to govern the various types of movements of people.

By: Tiffny Rhodius

Images: Tejpaul Bridgemohan