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Jan 5, 2011

P.M. has a change of heart on Immigrant Amnesty program

dean barrow

An amnesty program for twenty thousand immigrants is now off the radar, at least for the foreseeable future. That’s what Prime Minister Barrow said today. Under the programme, the illegal immigrants would have been able to attain permanent residency status in Belize. It was to take effect this coming April, but the prime minister has had a change of heart.

Dean Barrow

“There was never, never any programme contemplated that would have given anybody nationality. What was contemplated was a program to give permanent residence to some people who are here; admittedly illegal. Similar to what Jorge Espat did in the last that won the PUP administration. You were never talking about creating voters. They would get their permanent residence and they would have to wait five years to become Belizean nationals. There has been this great big hue and cry about this. I am here to tell you today that while we still believe that that ultimately has to be done, is a practical thing to do. It’s all a matter of timing. We have not had the money to do it here before because it will require additional staff, a fair amount of additional expenditure. In terms of this 2011 agenda which is seeing us concentrating or spending on infrastructure and pro-poor programs, we will not have that money. So that is officially shelved. We are not backing away from it or from the fact that in our view it is desirable and just and right and meek. But because of a lack of funds, because of priorities that will see us spending our resources on other things, we are not going to proceed with the programme.”

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15 Responses for “P.M. has a change of heart on Immigrant Amnesty program”

  1. to the prime minister says:

    Come on prime minister these ppl have proven themselves to be very good people. The least u can do for them is raise the price a bit for them to cover the cost but dont deny them the fact that they can be legal. Give them atleast the means where they can wait with no immigration officers behind their back.

    Come on its fair do it for them.

  2. Robert says:

    If someone enters illegally and can afford TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, my bet is it is drug money. Is that who we want to sell the right to live here? NO!

  3. BZNinCALI says:

    That was a darn good face saving explanation, thanks for putting Belizeans first. Now, let’s tell the cruise people that whomever made the deal with them did not have the authority to do so & thank them for the two cats.

  4. REGGIE says:

    the illegal people can vote in the village council. what is the big deal to give them Amnesty.They already have power to vote and residency,You should try and get them out of the country now.Because it look to me that you already know who they are.And stop live in the pass about Espat did this and that.You de cry like a Baby.

  5. defend BZ says:

    I hope this does not return just before election in order to gain votes. I have nothing against Guatemalans living in Belize but I care about the sanctity of my constitution which says ~~no person shall be entitle under the provisions of this chapter to be a citizen of Belize or be granted citizenship of Belize if such person shows any allegiance to or is a citizen of a country which does not recognize the independence , sovereignty or territorial integrity of Belize. ~~ I am seriously thinking of taking this matter to the courts . If the politicians want Guatemalans to become Belizean citizens then they should change the constitution.

  6. Al says:

    Look out for the Belizeans first. These people are illegals, send them home. Let their mother country provide for them. Please Mr. PM look out for the people of this once peaceful, beautiful country first. You have to start being strong somewhere. If you need an advisor I am available. Sometimes you are too close to the fire, to see how to put it out. At least you should want to be remembered for one tough decision that you have made and stood fast on. How do you want to go down into the history books, let it not be as the soft, indecisive, combative, almost communist leader, dictator wana be, who quote from mixed up religious sayings, and the leader of governmental thieves, liars and money grabbers, while the country sinks deeper and deeprt into disrepear, poverty and crime. You lack vision sir. You are a reactionary, a leader has to be proactive and not constantly reacting to situations. There is not one person in your cabinet that is a forward thinker, they think in the moment. No country can move forward in this kind of environent. Excuse me, you are surrounded by just what you want, and that is no forward thinkers, because you see that as a threat. Mr PM if you find a forward thinker embrace them, this is what you need. Put party aside and think of the people and not the hate you have for Musa, Briceno and God knows who else. Take Boots, that man cannot make one coherent sentence. Singh, does not understand police science, so he has not one clue how to structure or lead a police department. Damn it, build some relationships with people in other countries who can give some constructive help. Put egoes aside and when someone says something can be done better, ask how and learn from that. Instead all your macho con men in positons think they are being told they are stupid, well yes they are, becasue if something can be done better it will only help to make them look good. The Bible says that when the right man is in leadership the people are happy. I need not say no more.

  7. marilyn says:

    Just like any other country, illegals does not have it easy. Please lets not make it easy for them. I love my country and my land, if we give amnesty we will loose our country. Look at America. We are in crisis. If the Belize government give amnesty to the Guatamalans I will sell my home in Belize and never return.

  8. Carlton says:

    Excellent move Mr Barrow ! Granting amnesty to illegal aliens will result in less jobs and services available to its citizens. Thanks for not making similar decision as the previous PUP administration.

  9. ceo says:

    Let them pay for it just the way it is done here in the US. Why should this be a financial burden to us?

    Lots of potential tax dollars are going uncollected because those people are working anyway. They will not take away any jobs they do not already have. Let’s not be as ignorant and discriminaroy as the Americans to say stuff like this.

    The other good that would come from this is those that do not qualify because they have committed crimes or have some form of STD will be repatriated and those that are hard working and productive will start paying taxes.

  10. Consern says:

    Hello Al, He that is without sin trow the first stone. Do you realize how many illegal Belizeans are living in the United States of American who have contributed so much to the economic development of Belize? They sent money to build houses that they might not have own had they remain in Belize. Ask the Central Bank to give you the figures of remittance USD that help with foreign exchange, much of which comes from Belizeans living illegally in the USA. Many were fortunate to cash in on amnesty granted by the USA and became permanent residents and eventually citizens. You asked the PM to be broad in scope, while you started out been norrow minded.

  11. Elgin Martinez says:

    Maybe this is a good time for the PM to have all these people go to the immigration officials for background checks prior to giving them amnesty.Just something to thing about.Our National security is already at stake.

  12. ang says:

    Mr. Barrow is rt this time. Let illegals apply and go through our process no one is denying them not to go through due processing, but let us not us our tax paid monies to finance them we did so already in the 80′s if we were a rich country it could be put to a referendum vote so citizens decide. ANd yes we should not accept citizens who owe allegiance to other countries who do not accept our borders as valid. Those borders are hard to guard mein and we already can hardly tek care of our own population woes, the guatemalans are already decimating our border lands hello?

  13. Leo says:

    Imagine the possibilities of having 20 million dollars in GOB’s coffers. There is an estimated 20 thousand immigrants in Belize, if they were taxed 1 thousand dollars each this is where we can generate this money.
    This is the dream for a lot of people much like the dream of our Belizean brothers and sisters when they go to America.
    Jobs will be given to people that process the paper work and whatever development to our schools with this money.
    Come on people, be realistic. We should not have our police department conducting raids on families when the crime rate is so high. This is where we need to focus our limited resources.

  14. Belizean first says:

    Don’t you see the play? He is trying to be convincing, part of his strategy, to wait closer to election time when media and everyone too distracted with elections to make illegal immigrants residents or Belizean nationals. I will place my bet on the latter of the two! It is all strategy, suddenly there will be monies right before elections. LOOK OUT for the sudden increase of Nigerians and Indians, especially Nigerians. No news media followed up on the stories of the indians and their accusations on this huge indian store, these indians suddenly disappeared and the human trafficking continues.

  15. Reality Check says:

    Maybe some reality should prevail. As a person who has gone through the legal process to beccome a permanent resident and would love to become a citizen I would suggest that not only can this Immigration department NOT handle such an influx of paperwork for any “amnesty” program, but the people who actually legally go through the normal process would find that getting Permanent Residency would then take two years or more. As it stands right now the process from start to finish can take a year or more when you go through the normal process paying the cost to do so yourself.

    Why is is that America and now Belize find it difficult or even impossible to simply impress the laws of these countrys and without one second of hesitation….. expel people who enter illegally. There is nothing heartless about enforcing immigration laws. NO ONE has any God given right to what they percieive as “a better life in some country of their choosing”. You live and work in the country your born in and if you want to migrate….do it legally or face deportation until you go through due process. Stay in the country your born to citizenship and if your going to migrate….do it legally.

    The cry from illegals is that they have a right to be there. THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY RIGHTS. Sneaking across a border and Illegally entering any country does not suddenly give you any right to be there. Entering legally and then overstaying your VISA is just as illegal and in the states will earn you a 10 year personna non gratta status (you can’t come back for 10 years).

    Sympathizers will cry “illegals only want a better life”. In REALITY what happens is that their better life comes at the expense of the legal citizens of any country by costing public services and jobs that are taken away from those who do have a God Given Right to live and work in their country of birth.

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