Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Reports Increase in Belizeans Illegally Crossing US Border
The number of Belizeans illegally crossing into the United States of America has significantly increased in recent years, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Eamon Courtenay. Recently there were reports of Belizean nationals transported to the State of California after being caught crossing the US-Mexico border in Texas. Minister Courtenay says the many Belizeans who’ve fled for the US are reportedly seeking asylum, while others are leaving to live with relatives in the diaspora.
Eamon Courtenay, Foreign Minister of Belize: “Well, we have information that as a result of certain changes in US policies and laws quite a number of Belizeans, like many other people from different countries, decided well now is the time to go. The information that we have received that a lot of them have in fact been able to cross the border and enter into the United States and then are seeking to either seek refugee status or some sort of protection on the way to residence and nationality. I don’t know that is continuing, but we know that a few months ago it was significant. I think the law in the United States and the administration in the United States is tightening that and making sure that their border is more secure, or trying to. As to why Belizeans are doing that, it is the usual thing people want a better life, an opportunity to go and you know live with family and friends in the United States, seek a job, et cetera and they knew that the law was changing, and so they decided they had better make a run for it. We are trying to create opportunities here for Belizeans to stay and, in fact, to attract Belizeans to return to Belize to help develop the country. So that would be where we would place our emphasis.”
Interestingly, this morning on the Morning Show on Estereo Amor, as many as six callers called into the show discussing the brain drain that is occurring in the construction and vocational sectors. The callers echoed the issue where construction workers, welders and other hands-on skilled workers are migrating to the US for a better life. Our newsroom is keeping tabs on this story.