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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Gov't to introduce an amnesty program for 20,000 illegal immigrants

There has been no official word on government's decision to soon introduce an amnesty programme. Twenty thousand illegal immigrants are on their way to achieving permanent residency status in Belize. According to Cabinet Paper number one hundred and nineteen of 2010, the plan got the green light from Cabinet back in August but government has remained quiet about it in the months since it decided to proceed with it. The applicants would need to show proof of their identity, present a medical certificate, a clean police record and a few other documents including proof that they have been residing in Belize for two years. It will kick in next financial year in April and according to the document, government is planning to spend at least a quarter million dollars but government coffers, they estimate, can get as much as three to five million dollars. The cost per adult would be two hundred and fifty dollars while the fee for a child is one hundred dollars. The Director of Immigration, Gareth Murillo, was unavailable for comment today.

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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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V.I.P. does not support Gov't amnesty program for illegal immigrants

paul morgan

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.

"I 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 can't risk the control of our political system to others who are not native to Belize. That is our point."

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.



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