Addressing the Haitian Irregular Migration
Irregular migration is a global phenomenon that affects countries around the world, and Belize is no exception. Due to its geographic location and relatively open borders, Belize has become a popular destination for migrants from neighboring countries, including Haiti which is a country that continues to face many challenges, including political instability, economic hardship, and natural disasters. These challenges have led many Haitians to seek better opportunities and a brighter future elsewhere, and the belief is that Haitians are using Belize as a transit point to reach the USA. And if Belize cannot stop Haitians from transiting through here then it is at risk of being sanctioned by the USA. Prime Minister John Briceno explains.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Whilst Haiti is a part of CARICOM and by being a member of CARICOM there is this free movement of people so they do not require a visa but we raise the concern because then when they come many of them are trying to go to the United States and we don’t want the United States to be able to accuse us of human trafficking so we have to handle that very carefully and so we’re in the process, the Minister of Immigration is coming up with some recommendations to Cabinet as to how best we can control, curtail and stop that movement. Well it’s the big people that makes the rules and yes it is their problem but the United States congress has passed laws saying that if they believe that a country is facilitating human trafficking then we can be sanctioned and it’s something that we simply cannot afford and secondly it is the right thing to do. We should do everything possible to stop human trafficking. When you see how they take advantage of women and children it breaks your heart so it’s the right thing to do.”