The programme is being quietly pushed forward by government and is a move that many political insiders believe could swing the outcome of a future election because those who get residency will eventually qualify for nationality. It could also open the doors for a number of undesirables to slip through the net to become bonafide Belizeans. There are lingering questions about the ability to also carry out thorough background checks and if an ethnic balance will be maintained among those who apply. Many organizations have remained mum on the proposal, but the Vision Inspired by the People Party thinks the amnesty is not the right solution.
Paul Morgan, Chairman, V.I.P.
ďI understand there is a move by government to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants in Belize. We have experienced that and the V.I.P. will be putting out a release on that shortly. We have experienced amnesty in 1993, 1995 and it has done no real good. We appreciate the work of persons coming into our country. We know there is lots of labor coming in; we know there are a lot of technical skills. It is our duty also to be neighborly. But amnesty really has never worked. What works and what we are recommending to Belize is immigration reform, serious immigration reform. You see, we canít risk the control of our political system to others who are not native to Belize. That is our point.Ē
The amnesty, which is expected to be rolled out in 2011, will start with a budget of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars during the first phase of the program. There will be processing centers around the country that will be supervised by the Immigration Department.