Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2021. 11:24 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: If you have noted the census count, it simply identified persons not originally born in Belize.
But which of these are migrants, i.e. here voluntarily, and which are refugees and asylum seekers?
CEO in the Ministry of Immigration Dr. Gilroy Middleton made note that a 25 percent increase on the confirmed figure of nearly 50 thousand would see an increase of at least 12 thousand.
Dr. Middleton made note that more work needs to be done to encourage different types of migrants by establishing, for example, a protocol for economic migrants, or establishing a 30-day period to stay in Belize legally and encouraging those who missed paying on their extensions to come in and regularize their status.
The Ministry has approached residents in villages like Arenal to regularize the status of Belizean-born children with immigrant parents.
The next steps include a proper migration policy and the amnesty program that will give permanent residence to these persons.