THERE are Trinidad and Tobago nationals in public shelters in the United States since they have not received permission to return home as borders are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This according to Opposition MP Prakash Ramadhar in a release on Saturday.
He said, “Word has come to me that there are persons in the United States who are now in public shelters, not knowing where or when they can return home and not having a place of their own, basically homeless and stateless in other countries.”
National Security Minister Stuart Young is charged with the responsibility of giving permission to citizens to return home. So far close to 300 have returned home.
In his release Ramadhar said, “I have read the release from the Leader of the Opposition in relation to the Government’s posture on the return of our citizens from abroad. I agree with her whole-heartedly, in that this is a completely unacceptable way of dealing with our brothers and sisters who are facing all forms of torture; in terms of of their physical health, the lack of medical attention, the lack of money to buy food and in some cases even to be homeless.”
He said that self quarantine at the person’s home was a possibility once the person tests negative for Covid-19.
Ramadhar said, “These were the conditions put before the borders were closed on 20,000 persons who were allowed in on the understanding that if they were to show symptoms they should then report or keep themselves quarantined.”
He said, “It is beyond humanity to hear the awful conditions that our brothers and sisters are put, through no fault of their own, but by the ‘whim and fancy’ of a Minister of National Security who sees power, not as a tool to help, but as a weapon to hurt.
“We fall for repeated statements about the fear of bringing in Covid-19 which sounds plausible, but when are we going to be real?
“Understand that there are protocols in place or could be put in place to avoid much of this danger. Let us do these things.
“That is why I reflect on how the Government of the People’s Partnership operated the Cabinet. The question was always put, ‘would it help people?’ If the answer was yes, a decision was taken, by then Prime Minister, to go forward.
“It appears now that the opposite is true, that if it could hurt people then go forward with it. Forgive my anger. I too am human and I feel the pain and I empathize with our brothers and sisters of all ages stranded abroad, from babies who have been born and their grandparents who cannot see them.”
He said, “Some are old and suffering in pain and want to have their children with them. Just this morning, I learnt of a woman who is hospitalised in Trinidad, who is at death’s door, and her daughter in Orlando and her son in the United Kingdom cannot find their way to meet, and see, and touch their mom before she passes.
“This is completely unacceptable, inhumane and without any basis of logic, common sense or humanity.”