Speaking in the Senate yesterday, Ramlogan said Persons who are charging the Kamla Bissessar-Persad administration with racial and religious discrimination in the arrest of people or deportation of illegal immigrants by the Government are “mischievous, malicious and very dangerous.”
He said the statistics revealed out of a total of 1,757 deportees between 2010 and now, 41.8 per cent of deportees (734) were from Guyana. He said coming second after “with a big gap”, was Jamaica, the country of origin of 18.5 per cent of deportees (325 people).
Other Caribbean countries (Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Dominica) were third, with 11.4 per cent of deportees; fourth was Asia (China, Indian and other Asian countries), with 10.2 per cent; fifth was Central and South America (5.7 per cent); sixth was Caricom countries (excluding Guyana and Jamaica), 5.7 per cent.
“The truth of the matter is that illegal immigrants from the African continent were way down on the list at number seven. The total number of African immigrants that have been deported from 2010 to now is 70 persons. Seventy African deportees in four, nearly five, years, against 734 Guyanese (in the same period).
“So when we run to light a fire, coming on the heels of the Ferguson experience in the US and we jump to pour kerosene to light a social flame that we cannot control, then we must look to the truth which shall set us free. And the statistics show that we must reject outright that kind of nonsense and absurd allegation against the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.”
There is absolutely no merit, truth or justification in it, he said, adding it was mischievous, malicious and very dangerous in a society such as this.
He said he asked for statistics from the head of Immigration, Gerry Downes, because he wanted to see if there was any merit in this charge about discrimination against deportees from Africa.
“The Immigration Division and the Ministry of National Security have stepped up their efforts over the last few years to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants and to repatriate those who are found to be residing in T&T illegally.” He said one must be careful when “we receive reports from security agencies not to heap scorn on them.” Ramlogan said people called on the police to do their duty to enforce the law and when they did take action, the same people criticised and condemned them for doing so.
He added: “The latest trend is ‘racial profiling’ and ‘religious profiling.’ I don’t know what we expect the police to do or how we expect the police to do their duty. “It’s high time we stop this hypocritical behaviour in T&T and allow law enforcement to do their jobs. “The latest outcry (is) on deportation of our brothers and sisters from the African continent... but it’s arrant nonsense to claim discrimination and profiling.
On Sunday, eleven Ghanians were deported from Trinidad and Tobago by the government which hired a Caribbean Airlines plane at a cost of $2.6 million dollars.
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