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Aug 16, 2016

Hulse Says work permits a privilege, not a right

Godwin Hulse

According to Hulse, they were unaware of the illegal practice and it must be corrected. But Hulse says that work permits are a privilege not a right.

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration

“If we were aware of people coming to work without work permits, we would have dealt with it a long time ago. It’s no question that you cannot work and be in this country illegally.”

 

Reporter

“One person we spoke with says that they do try to apply, but it appears that there’s a lot of red tape; they don’t end up getting their work permits.”

 

Godwin Hulse

“But remember the work permits are a privilege; it is not a right. You come to this country to work when you can’t find a Belizean national to do the work. It is a process. The prospective employer applies to the Department of Labor; he or she says why he needs this person; he has to advertise in a local newspaper for a period of time to try to get a Belizean. It is only when that condition cannot be satisfied then the department issues the work permit. Over the years and during the time when I was Minister of Labor, people want to bring people to sweep; people want to bring people to cut grass; people want to bring people to cook—all sorts of things. And yes in the case of cooks, I can understand in some of the flashy, high class restaurants, you would say you need some expert. But Lord man, people to wash up dishes and we’ve seen all those ridiculous kinds of applications, you know. And they’ve even been people who say oh we noh want to hire nobody else; we want our people. Who on earth is your people? I will say categorically and I used to say—even when I was swearing people as nationals—I said it over and over. When you become a Belizean citizen, we are now your people; you have joined our family so don’t come now and tell me well I want to bring my people. Oh no; you have now joined my family and this is your people and our people have priority. And that is the way it has to be.”

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