Posted: Saturday, May 13, 2023. 1:58 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: In the wake of the United States lifting a key immigration policy, a group of Brazilian nationals has been apprehended in Belize for illegal entry, highlighting a potential increase in migration toward North America.
The U.S. recently ceased enforcing its Title 42 expulsions, a policy established during the Trump administration at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy prohibited the entry of individuals from countries grappling with communicable diseases and has been credited with the prevention of almost three million migrants’ land entry since 2020. However, its expiration has spurred anticipation of a surge in migrant numbers.
Yesterday in Belize City, amidst these international developments, ten Brazilian nationals were arraigned on immigration offenses, believed to be part of a larger human smuggling operation. The group, consisting of adults and five minors, allegedly entered Belize by crossing the Mopan River in Benque Viejo.
The group appeared before Senior Magistrate Aretha Ford, where they pleaded guilty to charges of illegal entry. Given the unique circumstances of the case, particularly the separation of adults from children who are now in the custody of the Department of Human Services, the Immigration Department decided against imposing the mandatory minimum fine of one thousand dollars or, in default, six months in prison.
Instead, the department sought and was granted permission for the group’s immediate removal from the country. The event underscores the challenges faced by nations along the migrant routes, particularly in the wake of changing immigration policies in destination countries like the U.S.
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