Rejection order for teen at Piarco – TERRORIST’S SON DETAINED

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A HIGH Court judge will on Friday rule on an application filed by attorneys for a 17-year-old boy – whose TT-born father has been deemed a terrorist by both the United States and Trinidad and Tobago – to be allowed free entry and movement in this country.

This after the teen was detained at Piarco International Airport on the weekend and a rejection notice was issued barring his entry into this country. The boy’s father is incarcerated in the US.

The rejection notice was ordered for the teenager who was accompanied on the flight by a social worker from the US. The social worker is also detained by immigration officials.

Present at the hearing on Tuesday before Justice Ricky Rahim was a representative of the New York City Mayor’s office and that city’s family services department.

Court documents filed in support of the application said the teenager was issued a rejection order by an immigration officer when he arrived at Piarco airport on a flight from New York.

The lawsuit complains that this was done without a special inquiry being held.

Attorneys for the teenager are asking the court to grant an order directing the chief immigration officer to allow the boy entry into TT until his lawsuit is determined.

They are also seeking declarations that the decision of the immigration officials (to issue the rejection notice) was unlawful.

In support of the lawsuit, the boy’s stepfather who lives in TT, said the teenager was asked about his father before the authorities issued the rejection order.

The stepfather insists the teenager was, by descent, a citizen of TT and cannot be denied entry. The teenager was born in the US, the court documents said.

Court documents included testimony from a police officer with the Special Branch’s terrorism interdiction unit.

The Special Branch officer said he received information from foreign intelligence service that the teenager is the son of an ISIS fighter and as such was designated a terrorist by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of Treasury in 2018.

The boy’s father was also designated a terrorist in TT in December 2020.

The court documents said the boy travelled to Syria with his father and six siblings, before returning to the US after eight years. One of the teenager’s brothers is also serving a prison sentence in the US.

The documents also said the US family courts granted permission for the boy to travel to Trinidad to visit his mother for two months.

The teenager is represented by attorneys Criston J. Williams and Celeste Jules, while the chief immigration officer is represented by attorneys Gregory Delzin, Domonique Bernard and Jinai Chong Sing.