Public Administration and Policy
April 23rd, 2013
Topic: Immigration Act
As with many laws of Belize there are discrepancies, loopholes, laws not practised and others that officers’ practise which are not the rightful law as stated by the Laws of Belize. Based on the Immigration Act, Chapter 156, Revised Edition 2003, showing the subsidiary laws as at 31st October, 2003 and the Immigration Act, Chapter156, Revised Edition 2000, showing the substantive Law as at 31st December,2000; I realized that not all regulations are being followed. In Section 35, 3. (3) states that Hunting Caye is a place of entry and exit by sea passengers for recreational purposes only. I learned that this occurs frequently however, from my interview with the public officers and other tour operators at Hunting Caye, there have been some complaints that the immigration officer demands the visa of individuals onboard of the vessel and if they couldn’t provide they are charged a fee. The law on Section 35, 11. (1. C) passengers on the vessel are exempt to provide. This visa correlates to the section 35, 12. (1.D) therefore, it is important for immigration officer to know the law at hand. Activities as such can have detrimental effects on tourism in Belize. An interesting review from the act is the amount of days in transit passengers can remain in Belize. Section 35, 12. (1.E) states they have seven days. It should be decreased to lesser days. These passengers take advantage of staying in Belize by not paying the appropriate taxes levied. At this point there are several individuals that are bi-nationals, being Guatemalan and Belizean. Especially, those living near the border and especially in Bella Vista Village are mostly occupied by immigrants. Interviewing a Public Officer at the Punta Gorda Immigration Department have commented on the issue saying that police officer can do raids and ask individuals for their papers and if not provided could be deported. Most of these immigrants try...
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