Posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2021. 5:52 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: After a torrid few years as a perceived ‘hotbed of corruption’ on par with the Ministry of Natural Resources and others, the Ministry of Immigration and the Immigration and Nationality Department are turning the page.
CEO Gilroy Middleton shared with us today that there has been a concerted effort at more meetings and internal communication across the Department to heal festering issues, as in the case of an officer who did not get his allowance on time, or a worker down south who was without Wi-fi.
BBN has received multiple complaints about the style of leadership of Director of Immigration Debra Baptist-Estrada, criticizing her as “difficult,” the cause of “low morale” in the staff, and disquiet with the public. The CEO would only tell us that there are always such issues and that the Department is doing its best to resolve them internally.
And to further define the roles of the Directors and staff, the Ministry has been meeting with officials at each level to develop a Department-wide strategic plan, subdivided into plans for each section of the Department. For example, there is a plan to gradually increase the number of passports processed from 20 thousand a year.
Also, a Migration Plan is being worked on in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Belize office, headed by former Director Diana Locke. This would cover formal policy on, for instance, how many migrants and refugees to let in annually and similar issues.
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