Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn revealed on Wednesday morning that the fastest-growing population of foreigners within Guyana’s prison system is Venezuelan men. The minister was at the time speaking at his 2023-recap press conference, held at his ministry’s office on Brickdam, Georgetown.

Minister Benn noted that while Guyana is dealing with the border-controversy, the country also faces other challenges in managing the influx of migrants from Venezuela and other countries. The country currently has over 21, 000 Venezuelan migrants.

“We have (our) work cut-out, dealing with the migrant situation,” he said.

The minister also highlighted the importance of authorities ensuring that migrants are vetted to ensure they are entering Guyana for legitimate reasons.

Meanwhile, he expressed concern over the growing population of Venezuelan men within the prison system, hinting at a possible correlation with the increasing number of Venezuelan migrants entering the country.

“…I know that they were a couple who were arrested for carrying a firearm in Arakaka, couple for murder, disorderly behavior of course,” the minister told reporters.

He also noted that there are approximately 70 female prisoners and around 2,240 male prisoners in the country’s prison system.

Moreover, disclosing statistics from the Immigration Support Service, Minister Benn said that in recent times, there has been an increase in applications from persons wanting to attain Guyanese citizenship.

Minister Benn disclosed that the Immigration Support Services received 355 applications for naturalization and 632 registrations for descent. He noted that the applications are from persons of Guyanese descent from Venezuela, Canada and the United States of America.

“As I said, there is a great interest now in terms of citizenship,” he added.


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