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Oct 12, 2017

Why Nationality Review is More Complicated than One May Think

As testified to by former director of Immigration Ruth Meighan and confirmed by others, as many as two thousand persons received nationality directly connected to the 2012 elections which did not qualify for it. So should the Minister cancel all of these documents wholesale? When Senator Eamon Courtenay put the question to him on Wednesday, C.E.O. Edmund Zuniga noted that at present nothing is being done with respect to the list due to greater priorities for the Ministry. As for whether anything can be done, Zuniga repeated the sentiments previously raised by Immigration Director Diana Locke – that the risk existed for statelessness and unfairly ascribing blame to those who thought they did things the right way.

Edmund Zuniga

Edmund Zuniga, C.E.O., Ministry of Immigration and Nationality

“Revocation of nationalities in my view is a little complex. First of all, it’s matter for the Minister of Immigration. But let’s say, for instance, the person who got his Nationality ten, fifteen years ago, who now has a Belizean child, you revoke that person’s Nationality it has a kind of a domino effect. One has to be able to determine how we are going to deal with those long-term effects and we haven’t reached that point in our conversations.”


Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator
“We can pursue that discussion, C.E.O., but why does it matter? If that person fraudulently obtained Belizean nationality, why would you as C.E.O. concern yourself with the consequence of the revocation of that nationality?”


Edmund Zuniga
“I would be concerned because there are two things: one, I believe that it is not in all cases that those who get the final product were aware that they may have been duped but also, you might end up with individuals who are stateless. So, what happens? It’s a Government policy issue which has to be looked at.”


Eamon Courtenay
“I’m concerned. I just want to be clear; your position is that before nationality is revoked for a person who obtained it fraudulently, the question of the consequence of that revocation needs to be considered before the Minister decides to actually do the revocation?”


Edmund Zuniga
“I personally believe so. I believe we must look at it.”


Eamon Courtenay
“Very disturbing, but I respect your position.”

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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1 Response for “Why Nationality Review is More Complicated than One May Think”

  1. tIFF says:

    In circumstances as these, the person who fraudulently acquired nationality knowingly or unknowingly, should have it revoked and given a period of time in which to legitimately reapply. Consequences on each individual should not be born by the Ministry.

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