Haitian student, Luxon Saint-Herve, can stay in Trinidad and pursue his studies, a High Court judge ordered on Monday.
“I want to finish my degree here, and go back and serve my country,” Saint-Herve declared as he emerged smiling from the San Fernando High Court.
Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh accepted a last-minute intervention by attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General, who gave the judge an undertaking that the Chief Immigration Officer would issue the 25-year-old student, from Port-au-Prince, a student permit so he can complete his studies in project management at Cipriani Labour College in Valsayn.
The judge granted the consent order made between attorneys for Saint-Herve and Assistant Solicitor General Neil Byam, from the Attorney General’s Office, who made an appearance in court yesterday.
The injunction, which was filed on Saint-Herve’s behalf and heard last Friday in the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, came up for hearing on Monday before Boodoosingh.
The judge commented that when he read Saint-Herve’s application, he was perturbed.
“What should be noted is that when the status of persons is called into question, proper legal advice should be sought,” the judge said.
Saturday could have been Saint-Herve’s last day in Trinidad and Tobago, as he had been ordered to leave the country on the grounds that no extension was given for his stay here. Attorney Gregory Delzin filed an injunction against the Chief Immigration Officer in which he invoked the powers of the judge to grant an order staying the decision to deport Saint-Herve. Boodoosingh granted the ex-parte injunction last Friday and immigration officers held their hands in deporting him to Haiti.
Saint-Herve had been in Trinidad since August on a three-month visa, attending the college and residing in Tunapuna. When he sought an extension of his visa, he was granted until October 4 and was told to provide certain documents. He returned on October 14 but was asked to produce a course outline of his study programme, as well as a letter stating the duration of his course.
In his injunction, Saint-Herve stated that when he returned to the Immigration Division on October 25, he was asked to hand over his passport and then placed on an order of supervision.
The student permit he had sought was refused. Saint- Herve was ordered to leave Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday last.
On Monday, Saint- Herve walked into the courtroom accompanied by Kafra Kambon, chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee.
He seated himself in the front benches and when the case was called, Assistant Solicitor General Neil Byam announced that he was representing the State (Attorney General) because it had joined, albeit late, as a party in the matter. Immigration officers were also present in court.
Delzin told Boodoosingh that after consultation with attorneys from the Attorney General’s department, it was agreed that the Immigration Division would issue a student visa to Saint-Hevre, and, that is to be done by Friday.
Byam confirmed action would not be taken against the Haitian until further notice. The judge ordered that legal cost is assessed.