Impacts of Immigrants in Belize

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Leonard Benjamin
Carmelita Blanco
Nair Castillo
Shavoney Flowers
Elma Arzu
May 11, 2011

Impacts of Immigrants in Belize
Immigrants are generally understood to be persons who leave their country to settle in another counter usually for permanent residence. These people are sometimes referred to as aliens; these are persons who do not owe allegiance to their country. Allegiance is a form of fidelity said to be shown by the part of a citizen to his/her state. In contrast if the immigrant does not owe allegiance to his/her country and that person violate rules, laws, policies or customs of a foreign country then this person is known as an illegal alien. The role of immigrants has for a long time created significant interest among policy makers. Issues concerning the amount of immigrants allowed to enter a country have risen. The mostly known nation of immigration is the U.S. but as Belizeans leave in search for “a decent living” in the U.S., many other Central American immigrants enter Belize. Many people migrate for many reasons for example to join family members who have migrated in past years, to search for economic opportunities, to escape maltreatment or sometimes for the simple reason that they want a fresh start. Immigrants/immigration, have been a controversy within Belizean societies over the past years where economic growth created by some of these immigrant populations, is linked to the growing aspect of crime, invasion as opposed to population stabilization and Native employment to self employment.

Do immigrants take away the jobs of Belizeans? Many times when natives are asked for reasons for their unemployment, they respond by saying that people that are entering the country have been taking their jobs. This view of immigrants has increased because of the success in the economic sector. When immigrants enter the country, they come entrepreneurially meaning the lack the experience to be employed. This means that the do not possess the expertise to own a business to employ people. Therefore they self employ themselves. Producing small amounts of goods for their daily survival. Belize is known to be a third world country, therefore; this small country is growing economically. Belize is a small country with a small population; therefore we are impacted in some way or the other with immigrants. The term immigrants mean foreigners coming from outside countries to reside in our society. We really do not know who they are and what their intentions are to live in Belize. That is why it is important to learn why they decide to live in our country other than theirs. Such in the case of the Mennonites for example, where they aid Belize in the agriculture field; they produce many or most of Belize’s vegetables. Over the past years they have extended their efforts to export goods to foreign countries and with agreement with the government, some of the income generated stay for the government of Belize. Therefore these Mennonites have become an integral part of our society. If the Mennonites were not around, where would all the chickens come from that are consumed today and the agricultural goods such as corn, vegetables, eggs, compost, etc. They have taken and wisely created a link between their farming and sustainably using their land. Their expertise is second to none here in Belize, so we are very thankful for them. According to Roessingh “the Mennonites have made a very positive contribution to Belize, mainly in the agricultural field and are responsible for a large portion of the products available in Belize. They have what is called a Calvinistic work ethic which says that hard work and frugality is the key to success and leading a good life” (110). Furthermore another group of peole that are vital to societies throughout Belize is the Asian community. These people have successfully opened grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants in every urban area of Belize, and even in some rural ones. Their...
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