More than 2,000 Venezuelans have applied for asylum in Trinidad and Tobago because of the ongoing economic crisis in their country.
They are fleeing the country because of a severe shortage of food, medicine, violent crime and unemployment.
This was disclosed by acting Chief Immigration Officer Charmaine Gandhi-Andrews, who said the numbers are increasing.
She was at the time being interviewed by a Joint Select Committee of Parliament on Human Rights Equality and Diversity recently.
Ghandi-Andrews said Venezuelans have been coming to Trinidad and Tobago in droves as a result of their country’s current situation.
On a weekly basis, she said, between 150 to 200 Venezuelans come to Trinidad and Tobago by boat from the neighboring South American country.
The acting chief immigration officer noted that most of them come with no travel documents, making it difficult to identify them, adding that 37 males and 30 females Venezuelan detainees are housed at the Immigration Detention Center in East Trinidad.
She said between 2014 and 2016, approximately 60,000 Venezuelans came to Trinidad and Tobago but there was a decline in the numbers in 2015.