Venezuelan migrants will be documented

─ migrants do not need to fear deportation

─ Migrant Support Centre to be established in Charity, Region 2 

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Director-General (ag) of the Civil Defence Commission, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig said there is no need for Venezuelan migrants to fear deportation.

During an exclusive interview, with the Department of Public Information (DPI), the acting head of the CDC, assured there is no need for Venezuelan migrants settling in Guyana to hide.

Director General (ag) of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig.

“I know sometimes people come and they hide, thinking that they will be locked up, that’s not the position that is taken as it relates to migrants,” Lieutenant Colonel Craig said.

The acting Director-General said the immigration department has a responsibly to document incoming migrants. He added that the migrants are granted stay for a certain period, but in many cases, it is extended. It was also noted that once the migrants are documented, assistance is given to them.

“So, if they come out and get documented, we would be able to give them some amount of support.”

In addition, Lieutenant Colonel Craig said the rehabilitation of the building identified for the establishment of the migrant support centre is expected to be completed within three months. He told DPI that the location was chosen because it was found that many Venezuelan migrants enter Guyana through Charity and are not documented.

He explained “the Migrant support centre is not a centre where people are going to go and live, it’s a centre where people are going to receive services so, the Venezuelans would come and be documented. They are going to receive vaccinations, they are going to receive any treatment they would need, any guidance and it would also help us to monitor electronically, persons coming in and screen persons coming in.”

Lieutenant Colonel Craig described the ongoing migrant issue as a complex humanitarian situation. Over the last few months, Guyana has seen an influx of Venezuelans crossing the borders to escape the economic and political turmoil in their homeland.

To date, approximately $25M has been expended in funding, to aid the migrants. The CDC in collaboration with several international organisations such as the Unicef and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have been distributing food and sanitary supplies to migrants in the border regions of Guyana.

Anara Khan.

Image: Giovani Gajie.