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Jun 3, 2022

Amnesty 2022 Legislation Goes to National Assembly

The Belize Nationality (Amendment) Bill sets the legal framework necessary to implement Amnesty 2022. The program will see anywhere between forty to sixty thousand irregular migrants receiving regularized status. The bill was passed through the House of Representatives today. During the presentation, Prime Minister John Briceño noted that persons who benefit from the amnesty program will not be eligible to vote. He further noted that they will not be eligible for nationality until five years have passed.


Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Over the past decade or so, there has been a significant increase migration both legal and illegal throughout the world, including Central America. According to the World Migrant Report 2020, and I quote that report, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have undergone considerable population change over the last decade. All the top twenty countries experienced an increase in the size of their population during this period, with the largest population changes occurring in Central America. Belize had the largest percentage of change and its population increased by twenty four percent from 2009 to2019, it was followed by Guatemala and Honduras whose population by nearly twenty three and twenty percent respectively. The reason for the explosion in migration are varied and complex. The economic, political, and social situation prevailing in countries in the Americas, Africa, and Asia have contributed to millions of nationals leaving their countries and moving to South and Central America. Millions of people went north, whether in caravans or individually. Speaking specifically about Belize, it is clear that most of the migrants that have settled in Belize are from neighboring republics with increasing numbers from Haiti, Cuba, China, not Taiwan, and Africa. Migrants from the Central American Republics are fleeing gang related violence and seeing employment. Migrants from Haiti are feeling political violence and governability and economic opportunities, while those from China are primarily seeking economic opportunities. “


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