State no longer blocked from deporting migrants held at Chaguaramas Heliport

Home*Cover Story*News

State no longer blocked from deporting migrants held at Chaguaramas Heliport

The State is no longer restrained from deporting some 64 Venezuelan migrants, who have been fighting their detention at the Chaguaramas Heliport.

On Thursday, High Court Judge Prakash Moosai granted a stay of execution of the order of Justice Ricky Rahim, that no longer restrains National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds from deporting 64 Venezuelan migrants—some of whom currently remain detained at the Chaguaramas Heliport.

This follows an appeal brought by the State yesterday.

Judge Moosai referred to the ruling of Justice Ricky Rahim, in which he ordered the group be released on orders of supervision and effectively barred their immediate deportation, pending the outcome of the migrants’ judicial review hearing.

Attorney Blaine Sobrian said, “The orders of deportation have essentially been reinstated, as there was no longer an order constraining the Minister from effecting those deportation orders. Therefore, those persons remaining, may be subject to the deportation by the Minister of National Security.”

Quantum Legal head Criston J Williams described the situation as unfortunate, adding that he was now concerned that Ministry of National Security officials could, “come like a thief in the night and deport those who are still in the Heliport.”

The group of 64 Venezuelan migrants were among over a 100 of them detained on July 9 at the Apex Bar in St James.

Williams is now hoping for an expeditious hearing of his clients’ substantial matter challenging the state’s attempt to deport them before the Court of Appeal and that a date will be affixed before the end of this month.

Sobrian said, “This stay is only until the final determination of the appeal before the full panel of the Court of Appeal.”

Referring to the 1951 Convention for Refugees, Sobrian continued, “This would be the first time, as the Court noted, that the Court of Appeal deals fully with that particular situation.”

Williams said, “Those who are outside will remain outside until September, and those who are inside … the Minister of National Security could deport them and they could always get permission from the Court to appear virtually.”