Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 12th 2017 Contents $26,000 a year to reintegrate a deportee
Chance said VOM—a non-governmental
organisation (NGO) set up since 1995—was
responsible for the surveillance and mon-
itoring of these individuals as well as their
reintegration and resettlement into society.
He said they receive an annual subvention
from the Ministry of National Security of
$1 million and he had to stretch it out to
work with over 600 clients a year and to
help meet overhead expenses, administra-
tive, programme expenses, and operations
He said it cost approximately $26,000
annually to reintegrate a deportee or a lo-
He said when deportees were scheduled
to be sent back to T&T, only inter-Govern-
ment agencies were initially involved such
as Immigration, The Foreign Affairs Min-
istry, The Ministry of Social Development,
Interpol, and Special Branch.
Chance said sometimes VOM was con-
tacted via email by the prisons where the
deportees scheduled for deportation are
He said not every deportee came to VOM.
Once a deportee arrived at the airport and
he did not have a family or relative to re-
ceive him, a police officer or official from
the Ministry of Social Development con-
tacted the organisation to arrange a pick up,
but many end up at VOM because of the
challenges their families have with them.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian in 2013,
Chance had said there were ten deportees
at VOM at the time. More than 100 had
returned to T&T and 65 of them had been
integrated, however, the other 35 could not
T&T not ready for influx of deportees
Chance said under Trump’s adminis-
tration and the perception of an anti-im-
migration policy the rate of deportees will
increase and the country was not prepared
for this influx.
He said the situation had brought a lot of
attention and concerns to the organisation
as it was severely challenged resource-wise
to meet the demand.
He said on January 31, he picked up anoth-
er deportee—they come in sometimes three
times for the month, and recently, at least
twice for the month in different numbers.
Chance said some of the clients VOM re-
ceived their offences were serious ranging
from murder, larceny, drug trafficking, pos-
session of arms and ammunition, shootings,
armed robberies, wounding to assault.
He said, however, most of them would
have spent time in prison and became
involved with many rehabilitative pro-
grammes conducted in US prisons. Chance
said upon their arrival in T&T the break-
down occurs when they do not enter into
an organised or structured programme to
help them to reintegrate. He said there were
families that received these individuals that
were not prepared for them.
Chance said because of some their be-
haviour and sometimes addictions conflict
arose at the homes and some deportees end-
ed up involved in crime.
He said those that came to the organi-
sation he was proud to say that most were
able to reintegrate based on how the group
conducted its programmes.
NEXT WEEK: Deportees plant the land
Sunday, February 12, 2017 guardian.co.tt
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As crime rate rises...
Concerns are being raised about the monitor-
ing of deportees to this country with potentially
There is the fear among citizens that these depor-
tees may be corrupted to turn their training towards
criminal activities such as robberies and murders.
Founder of Vision on Mission (VOM) Wayne Chance
confirmed that some of them have military training
in firearms, weapons, and come with other high-tech
skills and techniques useful in crimes.
Chance said there were challenges for the depor-
tees—one of them being adapting to the new environ-
ment and culture of T&T when many of them grew up
in the US, Canada, and the UK. He admitted that some
of them who may return with criminal tendencies
may become hopeless with the little opportunities
available to them and may turn to crime.
Chance said within the last ten years, the Caribbean
had received over 72,000 deportees—T&T received
some 6,000 of those deportees.
He was speaking to the Sunday Guardian last week
at VOM’s headquarters in San Juan, on whether the
Ministry of National Security or the police document-
ed, kept tabs on, or monitored these particular depor-
tees’ arrival into the country and their whereabouts.
He said, “The T&T Police Service’s Special Branch
does some level of surveillance, but there’s much to
be desired. If they state that they do, I am not aware.
“I recall early in 2004-2005, members of the Spe-
cial Branch Unit used to come and check on certain
types of deportees. There are those that come back
with certain types of military training and expert in
certain areas of weaponry and arms.
“Special Branch officers would come, monitor and
check on them, and call us periodically to find out
how they were going, but we haven’t seen that in the
last seven or eight years.”
Citizens’ fear is also coupled with concerns that
US President Donald Trump will be deporting people
with criminal records to their homeland.
US Channel, Fox4 announcer Shaun Rabb reported
that while on the campaign trail, Trump, as part of
his immigration enforcement policy, said there were
two to three million people who were committing
crimes and should not be in America.
Rabb said as the president of the US, Trump had
now empowered federal agents to work with US law
enforcement to round up and deport people who
committed certain crimes even though they were in
the US legally. This includes people from T&T.
While acting Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams did not return calls on the matter Friday,
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon yesterday
said the Special Branch has been monitoring the de-
portees. (SEE BOX)
Incidents involving deportees
A deportee who received military training in the US
Army attacked and robbed a licenced firearm dealer
in the East-West corridor a few years ago.
The deportee who was in top physical condition
scaled the burglar proofing with ease like a US Armed
Forces obstacle course tower climb. Both men were
armed, but the deportee overpowered the business-
man, stole his money and escaped.
In another incident, a police officer attached to the
Port-of-Spain City Corporation pursued a deportee
into an HDC apartment on Duncan Street. He said
when he wrestled the deportee to the ground, he was
sprayed with pepper spray, one of the sophisticat-
ed “tricks” the deportee had learned while living in
RADHICA DE SILVA
While T&T can do nothing about the im-
pending deportation of millions from the Unit-
ed States, National Security Minister Edmund
Dillon assured yesterday that those deportees
with potentially dangerous military skills will be
closely monitored by intelligence officials in T&T.
Responding to the Sunday Guardian yester-
day, Dillon denied that high-risk deportees with
military training in explosive, firearms and other
types of weaponry were no longer under watch
by the Special Branch.
Saying the United States always notifies T&T
about the arrival of deportees, Dillon said based
on their criminal record, law enforcement offi-
cers then take a decision on whether monitoring
should be done.
“Based on the information we get from the
deportees, we put them in different categories
because not all of them are criminal deportees
who have committed a serious offence,” Dillon
Saying T&T will continue to keep potentially
dangerous deportees under watch, Dillon added,
“If the United States sends someone who is
involved in gang warfare or someone who has
committed murder, we will definitely monitor
those individuals. There is no question about
He noted, however, that Government had a
duty to provide rehabilitation to the deportees
so that they will not fall into a life of crime.
“The Ministry of National Security will con-
tinue to support Vision on Mission and other
social groups. We have to look at how we can
rehabilitate and prevent them from continuing
on a path of crime. We have to see how we can
we reintegrate them in society.”
He also said those deportees who are no lon-
ger of questionable interest to law enforcement
officials will be removed from the radar.
“We are also working closely with the minister
of Social Development and VOM which comes
under National Security to support their initia-
tives. We want to strengthen VOM and offer
our assistance to their existing programmes
because some deportees come here with no
attachment whatsoever and we have to catch
them as early as possible so they don’t enter
into a life of crime,” Dillon added.
6,000 deportees worry citizens
WE ARE MONITORING THEM—DILLON
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