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Revocation of nationality could leave persons stateless says Immigration CEO

Posted: Friday, October 13, 2017. 4:07 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Edmund Zuniga, testified before the Senate Committee this week that a wanton cancellation of fraudulently obtained Belizean nationalities could leave many people without a country to call their own.

Zuniga gave an example of someone who illegally got their nationality over 15 years ago, but has since sired a child in Belize, noting that canceling the parent’s nationality would have a trickle-down effect on the child.

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,” Zuniga said. “It’s a Government policy issue which has to be looked at.”

He went on to say that the issue should be looked at on a case by case basis because he believes that not all persons with illegal nationality willingly and knowingly defrauded the system.

Zuniga did support the review and possible cancellation of nationalities, where it could be determined that Guatemalan citizens had not properly renounced their Guatemalan citizenship. He maintains his concerns for those persons becoming stateless but was content with the fact that citizens who are still Guatemalans cannot have Belizean nationality.

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