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Nicholson invited to Trinidad for talks on treatment of Jamaicans

Featured Nicholson invited to Trinidad for talks on treatment of Jamaicans
KINGSTON, Jamaica October 16, 2014  - Trinidad and Tobago's National Security Minister Gary Griffith has invited Jamaica's Foreign Affairs Minister Senator A J Nicholson and Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Edmund Bartlett to hold discussions on the denial of  entry to 13 Jamaicans  two weeks ago to Trinidad.

The discussions will also surround Griffith's statement on the weekend that there were more than 19,000 illegal Jamaicans in Trinidad feeding off  State resources. However, when he appeared on RJR's Beyond the Headlines, Griffith told Dionne Jackson-Miller that there were only about nine thousand Jamaicns living illegally in Trinidad and Tobago.

Trinidad and Tobago’s National Security Minister said the Jamaicans who were refused entry were in breach of  immigration laws as they provided conflicting information on the reasons for their visit.

Griffith told the Trinidad Guardian newspaper on Tuesday that the proposed talks are aimed at reaching a resolution in the best interest of both countries at the earliest possible opportunity.

Both the Jamaican Foreign Minister and  Bartlett have criticised Griffith's statement with Nicholson calling for the Trinidad and Tobago National Security Minister to refrain from continuing to muddy the integration waters.

However,  Griffith said Nicholson's comments demonstrated an unfortunate posture in a situation where efforts toward diplomatic resolution should be a priority.

He said this was required especially in circumstances where  restrictions on entry by citizens from specific countries were as a direct result of  overt breaches of  Trinidad and Tobago's immigration rules.

Griffith accused Jamaican officials of  making statements based solely on the accounts received from persons who were refused entry. Griffith, on the other hand, told RJR's Dionne Jackson-Miller yesterday, that his statement was derived purely from the reports from the immigration officers and not from any independent inverstigation.

He said the twin island republic spent millions of dollars between October 2012 and September 2013 to send foreigners back to 11 states. The cost of  sending back Jamaicans over that period was close to  TT$40 thousand dollars.

Meanwhile, Amoy Bunting, one of  the 13 Jamaicans who was turned back in Trinidad and Tobago, told RJR that she has given a statement to the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs and hopes it can assist with the reimbursement of  the money spent for the trip.

She stated that no reason was given why she was refused entry to visit a relative.She added that immigration officials were disrespectful to the rejected group.

 Bunting said along with others, she slept on the floor, were not provided with food or water and did not have bathroom facilities.

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