Friday, December 15, 2017

Few get passports

More disappointment at Sando office...


LUCKY SISTERS: Taruna Mangroo, right, and her sister Tanuja display their new passports outside the Immigration office on Knox Street, San Fernando, yesterday. The office offered limited service to the public yesterday. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

Mark Fraser

SEVERAL people hoping to conduct business at the San Fernando Immigration Office were again turned away yesterday.

Reporters were told that the only service being offered yesterday at the San Fernando Immigration Department was the collection of passports.

Others were told to return.

Dominican Zynab Octave, who came to the office in the hope of obtaining a student’s permit for her five-year-old daughter, was told she could not be helped.

One woman from Maloney said she had returned from England to reside in Trinidad and was attempting to obtain documents to have her personal belongings shipped to this country.

She left disappointed.

One man, who said he was trying to get his passport renewed before the expiration of his visa, yesterday left shaking his head.

Sisters Taruna and Tanuja Mangroo were, however, all smiles as they held their passports.

The two were unsure as to whether they will still be able to visit relatives in Miami, Florida.

Taruna Mangroo said they had missed their flight two weeks ago and had to pay US$350 to change their date of travel.

They were unable to confirm yesterday whether they would still be making the trip.

“If we don’t get on a flight, we lose all our money and the tickets,” Taruna Mangroo said.

For several weeks, workers at the Immigration Department in Port of Spain and San Fernando have been taking industrial action, claiming their health and safety were compromised.

Last Thursday, the Government obtained an ex-parte injunction preventing closures of the Port of Spain and San Fernando offices. Both offices were opened last Friday.

Last Monday, however, within an hour on the job at the San Fernando office, employees left.

The following day, customers were met with locked doors.

Yesterday, an official standing at the entrance to the San Fernando building listened to customers’ enquiries and directed them accordingly.

A police officer and security guard were also at one of the entrances to the building.

Harripersad Mahabir said he was notified on Tuesday that he could collect his passport but when he arrived yesterday morning, he was told that it was ready but was not at the office.

Mahabir, who had been trying for the past two months to get his passport, was told to return.

“It eh ready yet,” another man said was the “dry answer” he was given after he presented his receipt in the hope of being given his travelling document.

He said he waited for a suggestion as to when he could return but none came.