Attorney at Law and Opposition spokesman on industry, Anthony Hylton, says Jamaica should take the matter of the barring of its citizens by Trinidad Immigration officials at the Piarco Airport to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Hylton, who was speaking at a Rotary Club of St Andrew luncheon at the Hotel Four Seasons on Tuesday, said Trinidad’s actions is in breach of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
He said the ruling by the CCJ in the Shanique Myrie case is a clear indicator that Jamaicans who feel they were wrongfully barred from entering a member Caricom territory, on trite or malicious grounds, should take a legal route and make the offending state pay.
“The Trinidad Jamaica case should be brought before the CCJ and at an appropriate time. The Shanique Myrie ruling provides a guide and speaks to the possibility of us reaching an amicable agreement. We do not need a knee jerk reaction that the immediate action is to boycott. Sometimes in these matters you can be cutting off your nose to spite your face,” he said.
Hylton said Jamaica was the biggest economy and interest in Caricom and as such should use that to its advantage.
However, he expressed concern that Trinidad seemed to be targeting Jamaicans who enter their ports.
“The numbers that are being returned suggests that something extraordinary is happening at immigration in Trinidad, but to link it to the economic issue might not be the correct way. We have a legal framework to get recourse. Follow the rule of law. I believe the rule of law protects Jamaica,” he said.
He said three years after the Shanique Myrie ruling, it is foolhardy to be shouting at each other across the Caribbean.