Posted: Thursday, January 18, 2018. 10:02 a.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Belize is one of three countries, the others being Haiti and Samoa, that have been banned from applying for H-2A (agricultural) and H-2B (non-agricultural) work Visas by the Trump Administration.
The move comes days after US President Donald Trump caused controversy over his comments that Haiti and African nations were “sh*tholes”.
Belize was reportedly banned from the list of countries whose citizens can apply for work Visas because of its standing on the 2017 US State Department report on Human Trafficking. In that report, Belize ranked the worst among all Central American nations with a tier 3 rating.
The report cited Belize as being a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; adding that sex trafficking and forced labor of Belizean and foreign women and girls, primarily from Central America, occur in bars, nightclubs, brothels and domestic service.
The report also noted that high ranking government officials were complicit in facilitating human trafficking in Belize. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, following the release of the report, refuted the State Department’s position. “I certainly reject that. I don’t know that the report offers any evidence to substantiate that claim, but that is not something that I would accept,” Barrow told the media in July 2017.
Belize is being excluded because it is included by the US on the list of countries that do not meet standards on human trafficking and are not making efforts to do so, a notice from the US Department of Homeland Services said. Samoa was removed because it does not take back its deported nationals from the US, an issue referred to as recalcitrant countries.
Haiti’s justification, though, cites “extremely high rates of refusal,” “high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of overstaying” their visas when they end. It did not provide any statistics or further evidence.
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