Over two dozen deportees from the United States arrived in Belize last Friday on a flight that landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). The flight came in from Louisiana and had the twenty-seven deportees along with several repatriates on board. Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Sedi Elrington told our newsroom today that the repatriation process is a walk in the park when you compare it to the process of reinstating deportees into society.
Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: That has been going in the region for some time now. The Americans are just sending out people from different countries who in fact have run afoul of their law and they don’t want to keep them in the states any more. They have been having these flights landing in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala very regularly. These people coming back are our citizens they are our people. It’s a plus for Belize. The challenge of course is for us to find employment for them, find a way to facilitate them to make sure that they can settle in and behave in a productive and responsible way and that should not be a great difficulty because governments exist to benefit people. Everything we do as a government and as a country is to make the life and livelihood of Belizeans better and no matter how much money you spend on a person to educate and train and teach that person it is far cheaper to spend that money than to have them ignorant, untrained, unskilled, uneducated. So it gives us a chance to really reach out to these Belizeans and to try to make sure we give them the assistance that they need to be able to settle into the society and be able to contribute to the society to the best of their ability. So when we see these things happening I think we have view it in that light.”
The deportees are currently under quarantine at the Douglas D’Silva Camp in the Cayo District.