Grenada sends Haitian nationals to Trinidad and Tobago

February 15, 2023 in Regional

Grenada returned 15 Haitian nationals who arrived on the island over the last weekend, to Trinidad and Tobago, with immigration officials saying that they were not deported to the oil-rich Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

The Haitians were returned on Monday night after they were denied entry into the Spice Isle.

“They were denied entry to the island, they were not deported, so they were returned to Trinidad on Monday night to Trinidad which is the Port of embarkation on the way to Grenada,” said Superintendent Leroy Joseph, who is the head of the Immigration Department.

As a result, Port of Spain will now be responsible for their onward journey.

Joseph said that the group comprising seven women and eight men ranging between the ages of 20 and 40 had arrived here as tourists and had not sought refugee status or political asylum.

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell told a news conference on Monday that the Immigration officers during their normal routine checks were able to ascertain that the Haitians would have been a charge on the public purse if they were permitted to enter the state.

He explained that because Haiti is a CARICOM member there are very specific and limited grounds that can be used to prevent a CARICOM national from entering.

“One of which is a charge on the public purse and the second will be in broad terms, national security risk, in this case, it was purely on the basis of a charge on the public purse,” he said.

“If you are not a citizen of Grenada and you come to Grenada, you can only be staying at a hotel for at least one night unless you have a friend or family, and in the absence of friends or family it means that you have to be able to afford a hotel at least for one night.”