PHILIPSBURG–Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever told Members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday that there has been an increase in the deportations of Venezuelans recently.
He was responding at the time to a question from an MP on the matter. The minister did not provide specific information on the deportations of Venezuelans or other nationalities for 2017 or thus far for 2018. However, he provided MPs with general statistics of overall deportations of all nationalities from 2012 to 2016, in writing.
The statistics show that deportations plummeted significantly from 2012 to 2016. There were 110 deportations in 2012, 175 in 2013, 201 in 2014, 390 in 2015 and 58 in 2016.
In 2012, 12 persons were deported in January, 13 in February, 8 in March, 7 in April, 4 in May, 8 in June, 10 in July, 9 in August, 11 in September, 13 in October, 7 in November and 8 in December.
In 2013, 8 persons were deported in January, 5 in February, 1 in March, 4 in April, 15 in May, 20 in June, 19 in July, 18 in August, 24 in September, 27 in October, 20 in November and 14 in December.
In 2014, 10 persons were deported in January, 13 in February, 14 in March, five in April, 20 in May, 27 in June, 9 in July, 30 in August, 34 in September, 12 in October, 15 in November and 12 in December.
In 2015, 16 persons were deported in January, 34 in February, 28 in March, 16 in April, 15 in May, 19 in June, 53 in July, 26 in August, 77 in September, 52 in October, 37 in November and 17 in December.
In 2016, 26 persons were deported in January, 20 in February, 12 in March and none were deported for the remainder of the year.
Fourteen of those deported in 2016 were from Jamaica, 10 from the Dominican Republic, 7 from Guyana, 6 from Brazil, 5 from Haiti, 4 from Israel, 2 from Venezuela and one each from St. Lucia, Antigua, Colombia, France and other countries.
De Weever said pending deportees are housed in the jail cells located behind the police station.
He said the ongoing situation in Venezuela has the attention of the Kingdom. The matter is more of a concern for Bonaire, Aruba and Curaçao, given their proximity and geographical location to Venezuela, while St. Maarten is more isolated from the situation and not expected to be directly affected by the ongoing situation in that country.
“We have had an increase in movement [of Venezuelans – Ed.] and those will be investigated and are also being addressed by the relevant authorities,” he assured.