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Attorney General calls US ‘cowardly’ and ‘hypocritical’ for worker-Visa ban

Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018. 10:21 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Belize Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte, told the media yesterday that he views the US decision to remove Belize from the list of countries eligible for H-2 visas as “cowardly” and “hypocritical”, adding that he was very disappointed by the decision.

According to Peyrefitte, there are many other countries with similar conviction rates in human trafficking cases that are listed as Tier 1, referring to the US State Department 2017 Human Trafficking report, which caused Belize to be banned from obtaining H-2 visas.

Payrefitte added that since he took over as Attorney General, in the aftermath of the 2017 report, Belize has assigned a police unit to human trafficking, a specialized Supreme Court judge, a special magistrate, members in the Attorney General’s ministry and a specialized prosecutor as recommended by the US. He said he expects Belize’s rating to improve when the next report is published in a few months.

The ban lasts for one year and Belize’s eligibility will be reviewed again in January 2019. H-2 visas are workers visas that allow immigrants to do agricultural and non-skilled, non-agricultural work in the US.

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