Gov’t says Haitians are reporting to Brazillian authorities after crossing border

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Following complaints about a large number of Haitians arriving in Guyana without reporting to local immigration authorities, data was gathered to show that they are travelling to neighbouring Brazil where they report to authorities.

Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix in a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency on Friday reported that 6,925 Haitians who passed through Guyana from January to July this year have reported to Brazilian immigration officials.

Compared to the 8,476 Haitians who arrived in Guyana during that period, local reports only showed 1,170 departing.

The Minister said some of the travellers left Guyana without reporting to local immigration officers, although there are opportunities for doing so.

According to the Ministry of the Presidency, from information received, except for 129, the majority of the Haitians have also left Brazil.

Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix (File photo)

The Minister said the foreign nationals are capitalizing on the legislative adjustment to Schedule II of the Immigration Act, Cap. 14:02 which allows Haitians to enter Guyana without a visa like other CARICOM nationals.

It is hoped that with the information from the Brazilian officials it will “put an end to the scurrilous allegations being peddled by some members of civil society and the Opposition, in some sections of the media,” the Ministry stated.

The Minister is also calling for an apology from Mr. Kit Nascimento who wrote a letter in the local newspapers accusing the Government of politically exploiting the Haitians.

“I think that statement was made out of clear eye pass and disrespect,” he said.

Further, the Minister reiterated that the Opposition’s claim that Haitians will be used to bloat the Voters’ List, has no merit, adding that they can provide scrutineers during the registration exercise to ensure accountability.

The allegations are completely baseless, the Minister said, explaining that the processes for obtaining same at the General Register Office has been toughened up to prevent fraud.

Minister Felix reminded too that the APNU + AFC Government has a good track record when it comes to tackling TIP.

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