Border Security Director Reveals Hundreds Granted Refuge
As authorities are on the lookout for the four persons traveling on fake Israeli passports, the Director of Border Security and Immigration Services, Debra Estrada-Baptist, has reported that hundreds have been given refuge, while many more are being accepted under the Amnesty Program.
Debra Baptist – Estrada, Director of the Immigration Department: “The Ministry of Immigration per se embarked on that amnesty program to look at persons who were living in Belize and out of sight. So now these people have a face, they have a voice, we have looked at the registration of just under 13,000 persons under the amnesty program. Now these people can register their children so their children have now will be able to go to school, these individuals can now look at seeking employment and will not be in a situation where they are vulnerable because they can now have a voice. They should not have any fear of coming out and making a report to the police if they believe that they have been exploited. When it is that persons don’t have an identity, they don’t have a place in society then it lends to abuses and so on and so forth. So our amnesty program seeks to bring these individuals out. The children can go to school because we have a policy of leaving no one behind and that is in alignment with the sustainable development strategy as well. So bringing these people out of the shadow also lends to citizen security. And it is that it also assists us because we know who these people are, we know where they are and they have now been formally be a part of the society and they can contribute positively, they can contribute to the payment of taxes and they can not be afraid to seek medical attention and so on and so forth.”
Director Estrada-Baptist made the comments during an appearance on the Galen Hour on Love Television.