Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2021. 3:54 PM CST.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
By Norris Hall: Belize’s government continues to violate the human rights of illegal immigrants and migrants, arresting and locking them behind bars in its central prison on remand, and then for up to four years after their conviction for immigration violations .
A court also has the power to order their direct deportation, regardless of the human rights violations of such persons by the courts.
The United Nations Convention on Human Rights prohibits the imposition of prison sentences on “illegal aliens” or migrants, regardless of the merits of an individual’s request for protection and asylum. . There has been an outcry from international organizations, especially hard pressed with the new global phenomenon of mass migration.
By persistently invoking an archaic immigration law dating back to 1958 during the colonial days of Belize, successive governments continue to violate their human rights obligation under the 1951 United Nations Charter, ensure and protect the human rights of everyone in its territory, including those seeking asylum or as refugees.
At one point, there were as many as 150 people locked up at Belize Central Prison for illegal entry or violating other immigration laws, according to prison records. This number was drastically reduced at one point with the rapid deportation of illegal immigrants. But it also indicates a violation of the human rights of these migrants because it does not take into account their fate.
What emerges as persistent and seemingly unstoppable corruption within the Immigration Department regarding work permits and trafficking are also factors that are causing the reduction in incarceration of those who may have entered the country illegally.
International organizations, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), have warned that with the current pattern of migration, thousands of migrants are crossing countries in South and Central America to the border. Mexico / United States seeking to enter the United States, could potentially have a significant impact on Belize.
There are already reports that some of the thousands of migrants stranded at the border between Mexico and the United States are now trying to return to their home countries via Belize due to various difficulties in tracking their steps with them. traffickers and other immigration issues. Some have either tried crossing Belize on their return trip to the countries where their journey began, or using Belize as an alternate stepping stone to attempt to reenter the United States.
There has been very little inclination on the part of Belizeans to use this once traditional “back door” for many who now reside in the United States having legalized their status. But recently there have been a few cases of Belizean children surfacing among the hundreds of Central American children trying to enter the United States as unaccompanied migrants.
An IOM report released in October this year estimates that there are more than three million migrants on the route now heading north to the United States from Chile.
Reliable local official sources say that many of those migrants who have fallen by the wayside or attempting to return to their starting point and have been rounded up and deported by Belize immigration authorities and without fanfare and in violation of the United Nations Convention on Human Rights. , according to the IOM website.
He says Belize, as a member of the United Nations, has an obligation to ensure an “orderly, safe and regular return of migrants.”
It now appears that the government of Belize is not prepared for a possible or even imminent immigration crisis at its borders with Mexico and Guatemala. With this potential immigration crisis, this means that he will continue, with apparent indifference, to violate the human rights of migrants and illegal immigrants until they replace current immigration laws and unless that it urgently address what is likely to become a national problem arising from, and as a side effect of, the persistent and seemingly unstoppable flow of migrants through the Americas.
There is a large movement of highly vulnerable migrants to the Americas from the Caribbean (mainly Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic), Central America, Africa and Asian countries, says the recent report by IOM.
This migratory movement of several thousand people from the south of the Americas, winds through Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, the countries of Central America, all along the Pacific coast through Cantal, Mexico and s’ amassing at the border town of Acuna (Mexico) and Del Rio (United States).
The IOM report notes: “The transit from South America to North America of migrants from the Caribbean, Asia and Africa has been developing for perhaps a decade. Currently, migration flows have increased due to the socio-economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, disasters and political instability in the countries of origin and residence.
The report, dated October 2021, says there are more than 3 million migrants heading to North America. This has exacerbated a migration and humanitarian crisis on the southern United States border with Mexico.
It appears the government of Belize has shown little interest in tackling what could turn out to be an immigration crisis here. stipulates that migrants should not be detained in prison.
Recommendations were made and assistance was offered to the Government for the construction of an adequate settlement in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of western Belize for the accommodation of migrants and illegal immigrants offering a wide range of human services with assistance from IOM. and UNHCR. It would be an alternative to incarceration and reckless deportation of the type imposed by the Biden administration on Haitians.
The government of Belize, sources say, has yet to accept the offer of such a detention center which could be developed from the infrastructure of a former military training base camp abandoned by an army. European who trained in Belize a few years ago.
During this time, IOM helped the government of Belize to streamline its border management unit in the Immigration Department. She has helped streamline and digitize its systems and records. But inside sources have revealed that corruption at the Immigration Department persists with “entry and exit of garbage” with corrupt and falsified documents being seized into the digital system. This “simplified” system may make it even easier for some immigrants to obtain their Belizean citizenship and passports for a fee (donation) to corrupt facilitators in the Immigration Department for US $ 10,000.
There is a Murphy’s Law that says: if anything can go wrong, it will happen.
And, if anything can go wrong in government, it will triple wrong!
Now “scan” that!
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