Hinds: 3 children detained at Heliport to be transferred to Children’s Authority

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Arrange­ments are be­ing made to place three chil­dren who were at the He­li­port As­sess­ment Cen­tre in Ch­aguara­mas with the Chil­dren’s Au­thor­i­ty and a mat­ter has been re­port­ed to the Law As­so­ci­a­tion, where their par­ents had opt­ed to be repa­tri­at­ed to Venezuela but their at­tor­ney went to court and said «No».

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Fitzger­ald Hinds in­di­cat­ed this in the Sen­ate yes­ter­day.

He re­spond­ed af­ter UNC Sen­a­tor Wade Mark asked if fol­low­ing «re­ports of abuse» at the He­li­port, Gov­ern­ment would have three chil­dren re­moved im­me­di­ate­ly and placed with the Chil­dren’s Au­thor­i­ty.

Hinds said he didn’t know where Mark got «re­ports» of abuse from, since he’d re­ceived none. He said a re­cent news­pa­per ar­ti­cle was ful­some (sic) in the treat­ment of the mat­ter.

Hinds said the cen­tre was not a «de­ten­tion» cen­tre but an as­sess­ment cen­tre for il­le­gal mi­grants on their land­ing sta­tus and for quar­an­ti­ning and screen­ing for COVID-19.

They are repa­tri­at­ed «…as nec­es­sary and ap­plic­a­ble prompt­ly there­after,» he added.

Cur­rent­ly, Hinds said there are about 40 peo­ple there, in­clud­ing chil­dren, since peo­ple’s pre­ferred op­tion is to be with their chil­dren and fam­i­lies are there­fore kept to­geth­er.

Hinds ex­plained that ac­tion had been tak­en to repa­tri­ate cer­tain adults from the fa­cil­i­ty and they chal­lenged their de­por­ta­tion or­ders for repa­tri­a­tion.

«In the con­text of that chal­lenge in the court, three chil­dren loomed large for the court’s at­ten­tion and the court sug­gest­ed that al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion be made for the three. Arrange­ments are now be­ing made be­tween the Chil­dren’s Au­thor­i­ty, to whom the court di­rect­ed that fo­cus and those re­spon­si­ble for their safe­keep­ing at the He­li­port. Those dis­cus­sions are un­der­way and the mat­ter is ex­pect­ed to be re­solved but it on­ly arose as they chal­lenged the de­por­ta­tion or­ders.»

Hinds con­tin­ued, «The par­ents of those chil­dren had opt­ed for and signed with the Venezue­lan au­thor­i­ties that they want to be repa­tri­at­ed and strange­ly, their lawyer came to court and said ‘No’ and that cre­at­ed a bit of a dis­crep­an­cy.

«That mat­ter was re­port­ed to the Law As­so­ci­a­tion as well, be­cause there was a sus­pi­cion that the lawyer was work­ing in con­tradis­tinc­tion from his client or pur­port­ed client.»

He said the chil­dren are yet to be placed so he could not speak of which Chil­dren’s Au­thor­i­ty home yet.

LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian

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