Jailed Nicaraguans in Westmoreland Still Not Home

Almost eight months after paying their fines for illegal entry into the country, desperation is growing for two jailed Nicaraguans in police lock-in Westmoreland. Based on advice from an immigration official, the men were expected to be deported last week, but are still here.

Three of four Haitians whose boat landed off the coast of Spring Garden in Buff Bay, Portland, on August 3 were returned to their country on Tuesday, October 12; the fourth is expected to leave on Thursday, October 14. The men all pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal entry on September 24 and were each fined $5,000 or 15 days in jail.

However, the jailed Nicaraguans who entered the country in February and subsequently paid their fines for illegal entry are overwhelmed with anxiety, as they remain in the dark at the Savanna-La-Mar police station, in Westmoreland. One of the men describes their plight, having no one to visit them.

On September 30, an official at the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) advised CVM Live that the men should be cleared to return to their country by the following week, pointing to a positive COVID-19 test being the reason for the delay.

But according to one of the foreign nationals, none of them have done a COVID-19 test since being in jail. Their families are beyond frustrated as they wonder when they will return home.

The sister of one of the men says, immigration authorities in Nicaragua on Thursday informed her that they have taken all the necessary steps for the men to be returned. Efforts to get an update from PICA on Thursday proved futile.

More in this CVM Live story from Aladden Love: