Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2021. 3:33 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: A pastor was fined in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today for hiring Salvadoran men who did not have work permits to do some construction work for his ministry.
Marvin Antonio Meza, 48, who operates a parish on Antelope Street Extension, appeared before Audrey Grinage to answer for an immigration violation for hiring Jose Alexander and Angel Guerra
In court, Meza pleaded guilty and explained that he was just trying to help the men out, noting that prior to giving them employment one of the men was a drunkard but is now a member of his parish. Meza went on to say that his ministry builds buildings to host a place for the needy children whom they feed and donate school items yearly and that the men were hired to assist with that work.
The Magistrate applauded him for his exemplary work in the community, but despite his intentions, he did break the law. She noted that, by law, his offense carried a fine of less than $1,000, but fined him only $800, given the unique circumstances of the case.
Meza was given until August 30, 2021, to pay the fine, or spend three months in prison for default.
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