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Jul 18, 2022

Five Thousand Amnesty Applications in Two Weeks

Since the Ministry of Immigration began taking appointments for its amnesty program on July first, a total of four thousand, seven hundred and fifty persons have applied. One thousand, five hundred and eighty -six persons have applied from the Cayo District, six hundred, thirty- five applicants are from the Belize District, and six hundred, twelve applicants are from the Toledo District. A total of three hundred applications were submitted from the Stann Creek District, one hundred, eighty-two from the Orange Walk District, and forty- four from the Corozal District. Additionally, applications have been received for one thousand, six hundred and twenty-seven minors. Senator for Government Business Eamon Courtenay sought to quell concerns about gang members taking advantage of the process.


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Senator for Government Business

“There are tens of thousands of persons in Belize who have come here irregularly or came here regularly and became irregular. These persons are in Belize and for all intents and purposes have made Belize their home. However, they remain irregular. Like in any country, they are fearful of coming to immigration to regularize their status. They are fearful that if they do so they will be arrested, deported, arrested and charged, suffer some consequence, fined perhaps. A lot of people because of the COVID lockdown also lost jobs and were unable to maintain their status. So, what we have is what we estimate to be forty to sixty thousand people, maybe higher, in Belize and in irregular status. The intention is to give an opportunity for these people to come in and to satisfy one of eight criteria. If they do they would be considered for permanent residence. I want to stress two things, one this is not solely for people from Latin or Central America. It applies to all nationalities, ethnicities and races. Second, there is a very rigorous security check that is doesn’t for every applicant for permanent residence. That will also be applied to every applicant. So those concerned about gang members’ being allowed to pass through this process that is impossible because of the system in place.”



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