Number of Haitians Transiting Belize Increasing
And lastly, the Prime Minister was also asked about the increased number of Haitians coming to Belize. It is believed that Haitians are using Belize as a transit point to get to the USA. And because of the political turmoil in Haiti, Haitians are desperate to leave their country, making them victims of human traffickers. That’s a problem for the Briceno Administration because if nothing is done to curb this, the US can impose sanctions. We asked the Prime Minister for an update on how they will be dealing with this regional issue.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “What we did we had a long discussion. The Minister of Immigration just maybe about a year ago he came to Cabinet saying well we have to institute the Treaty of Chaguaramas which includes the removal of Visa restrictions and the Haitians still had the Visa restrictions. Removed it but now that we’ve done that we’re seeing that there’s a serious problem of human trafficking. A lot of Haitians are coming to Belize and then we don’t know where they get to. We all know they’re going on to the United States. Unfortunately the US holds us responsible when we don’t act so the recommendation was that probably we need to be able to remove that Visa waiver, that they will have to start to apply for a Visa and to be able to show that they have where they’re going to stay and they have the monies, the funds to be able to stay and also to go back.”