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PM Briceno Says GOB Will Crack Down on Illegal Migrants

*More than twenty thousand Central American migrants have made Belize their home. These migrants have created communities of their own across the country and their economic contributions grow every year. The Department of Immigration is looking to regularize the status of migrants who have been in the country for a certain number of years. While a budget has not been finalized, the Department’s Amnesty Program is set to commence in April 2022. It’s not certain how long it will take the Department to legalize the status of migrants but the question is: what happens after? Prime Minister John Briceno says a crackdown on illegal migrants will be carried out. *

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize:I don’t think that necessarily means we have to put more boots on the ground. Of course we do think we may have to expand the BDF and our security forces but it will not be because of migration or illegal immigration into Belize all we’re saying is that we have to implement the laws of the country, we can’t continue to be having this open door policy that you come to visit Belize and then you decide to stay. We’re happy that you want to stay, we know that we are a unique country, we’re beautiful but we also need to protect it. So it simply means that we have to if you come to visit that when your visit comes to an end then you need to leave, you need to go back to your country. The budget is not finalized yet but the amnesty, the actual work when I start until March I think so by the time it will be almost at the verge of introducing a new budget so it will be covered certainly in the new budget.”