Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George- Wiltshire on Thursday evening issued a conservatory order suspending the deportation of 26 Haitian nationals, who have been in “protective custody” at the Hugo Chavez Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintegration at Onverwagt, Region Five.

The Haitian nationals arrived in Guyana on November 7, 2020, and were subsequently apprehended by a contingent of police officers under arms and taken into custody at the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) Headquarters.

This publication understands that after the foreign nationals arrived in Guyana, they reportedly lied to immigration officers about where they would be staying – this is a violation of the immigration laws.

However, their Lawyer, Darren Wade, is contending that the foreign nationals were never charged for any immigration violation.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court issued a deportation order after the Attorney General’s Chambers was expected to respond to a motion filed by Wade on behalf of the Association of Haitian Nationals in Guyana. The motion sought to get the Government to haul the Haitians before the court.

As a result, Wade moved to the High Court, challenging the deportation order. He contends that Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus’s order is arbitrary and in violation of the Haitians’ fundamental rights.

When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday evening, the lawyer asked the court for a conservatory order suspending the foreign nationals’ deportation until the case’s determination.

Wade, during his submissions, cited the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME).

On the other hand, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, argued that the High Court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the application.

According to the AG, the Fundamental Rights provision of the Constitution, specifically Article 47, which Wade’s application invokes, is flawed.

The Attorney General contends that the provisions in Article 47 apply only to citizens of Guyana and the Commonwealth and other persons who are listed within.

Nandlall further contended that Haiti is not listed since it did not sign onto the free movement aspect of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The parties were granted leave to file affidavits in response, and the court will hear full arguments on December 18, 2020.

On Wednesday, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said that police investigations revealed that the Haitians were being facilitated through a people-smuggling operation. He said many of them gave non-existent addresses on arrival in Guyana.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here