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Jan 8, 2015

Minister of Immigration on Influx of Guatemalan Laborers

On Wednesday’s newscast we showed you pictures of hundreds of Guatemalan labourers massed at the Western Border waiting to come across. These labourers, we were told, entered Belize on the strength of one day passes, but were commissioned to work at Santander for a year. Now that’s not how it’s supposed to work, so naturally there has been some concern. That’s why when we got the opportunity today we asked Minister of Immigration and labour Godwin Hulse about the massive influx of Guatemalans. Apparently he was as surprised as we were by the news which he heard in the media.

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration & Labor

“I heard it on the news as well. But Santander can only employ people for which they have gotten work permits and as far as I know, they have not put in any application for work permits or any mass amount of people coming in. that’s all I can say at this time. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard it on the news as well and I’ve already asked some people to look into the matter. That’s all that I can say at this time.”

 

Mike Rudon

“So they would have had to been issued with work permits before coming across?”

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse

“Of course, nobody comes in just to work. I don’t want anybody to confuse the agreement that was recently signed you know. That agreement simply, that we signed with Guatemala, was to regularize this kind of thing and particularly for the banana and the citrus industry so that persons don’t come across who are not properly documented, stay in the country and eventually work their way into permanent residence and that kind of thing. It’s to declare clearly persons who we need to hire because we can’t find Belizeans and they will come only as seasonal workers; that is banana and citrus as far as we are concerned at this time. Santander, like any other company, has to apply for its work permits if it needs persons and it has to demonstrate to us why is it they need. We have a work permit committee you know that scrutinizes every application; it is not arbitrary at all.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, one hundred and fifty citrus workers came across just yesterday morning. How does the system works, and how it’s always worked before and after the treaty, is that they don’t have any passports; somebody just comes with their names on a list, their work permits are approved and they come across. That’s how it works.”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Used to work. The fact of the matter is that anybody who comes has three months…if they don’t have a passport, they have three months within which to get one; they cannot come back as repeat employee without a passport. That is what we have put in when we started to monitor this in detail. As you know previously it was just to go and come, go and come, and some of them were here five-six-seven months without any documentation. Three months is the term we gave. And the reason we made that concession is because the citrus people claim that we will be closing down their business, they wouldn’t be able to get pickers, etc. so that is the way that works.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Minister of Immigration on Influx of Guatemalan Laborers”

  1. HIJO DE PUTA MODERATOR says:

    WELL LET THEM F*&* CLOSE THE CITRUS !!!
    ANY BELIZEAN CAN GO TO GUATEMALA TO WORK?
    THEY GET KILLED…KILLED PERIOD!!!
    EVERY DAY…EVERY DAY WE SEE THE GUATEMALAN BUS LINES INTO BELIZE, THE FDN OR FUENTE DEL NOTE.
    WHICH BUS LINE OR BELIZEAN BUS IS SEEN IN GUATEMALA?
    HELL BARROW!!!
    WHY THE HELL YOU F*&&* KISSING SO F**&& MUCH? YOU COWARD !!!

  2. Teddy Steinway says:

    If they can line Guats up to work at the cane factory then why not allow them to finish the coast guard base too?

  3. Eye in the Sky says:

    As the Guatemalans say “Belice es Guatemala”

  4. patriotic says:

    I dont recall hearing any advertisement for work at Santander here in Belize, they went str8 for the Guatemalans and disregard the Belizeans. I dont believe Belizeans dont want to work at Santander nobody knew about those jobs. There our government goes again defending foreign entities. SMDH.

  5. Belizean Pride says:

    this is really a wrong way to start 2015, the influx of these people I’d say 100 of them might never return home after all. Might be that some of them have families here already legal and tend to stay longer than expected till they reach residential papers. Lets see if G. Hulse will ready step up to this one and fins out something good to say to the Belizean people.

  6. Observer says:

    If Hulse don’t have answers; I guess there’s only one man that may know ask Erwin, didn’t he put the deal together with the Guats?

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