Screen_Shot_2017-11-02_at_8.00.06_PMDuring previous testimonies before the Senate Committee by the Director of Immigration Diana Locke, the weaknesses at the Vital Statistics Unit which is responsible for the provision of birth, death and marriage certificates was considered a threat to the work of the Immigration Department. Yesterday during his testimony at the Senate Hearing the Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse shared his concerns, indicating that something has to be done to improve the department’s security features.


Honourable Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration


“Maybe this is the point in time to really take a detail look at Vital Statistics and this whole registration process and whether in fact we can develop some mechanism that the baby was solely born on the soil or just born of the blood while we have focused on registration and that sort of thing to my mind that nationality by birth and decent needs some strengthening.”


Senator Mark Lizzarraga – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“We agree but you have not heard certainly of any efforts that have been made or any suggestions that have been made?”


Honourable Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration


“No"


Senator Mark Lizzarraga – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Even though we’ve known about it for a long time and its affecting your ministry?”


Honourable Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration


“No efforts to my mind that I may know off”


Senator Eamon Courtenay – Member Senate Special Select Committee


“What should be done?


Honourable Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration


“Well Senator we’ve talked about not this issue specifically of the birth certificates but certainly of the question of the recommenders I hold strong to the recommenders because somebody somewhere has to have accurate information and we have looked at the department and one of the reasons we brought up the two recommenders for passports, none of the reasons they are recommenders for nationality and even though the penalties are ratcheted up they may one to still go beyond that and this is pure an idea that I have floated some time ago by saying well before you are able to register that child, before you were able to register period you bring some characters that you can have some confidence in and tied those characters to some specifics, a previously born Belizean, a person with a passport that would lose it, person to something to lose before he readily volunteer yes I know that this baby belongs to Senator so and so or Mr. so and so was born in Belize what we are trying to establish fundamentally first is that the person was born on the soil because that is what it gives that kind of nationality for those ones that were born off the soil but nevertheless are citizen by birth as per section 25 of the constitution again to establish the connection so it turns around a mechanism to try to establish that yes this person was born on the soil from the Hondo to the Sarstoon.”


Senator Eamon Courtenay – Member Senate Special Select Committee


“And I have discussed another issue about being born on the soil where there are persons, I understand I don’t know of any, but I understand there are persons who were born in Mexico, in Chetumal or in Melchor fully of Belizean parents, mother and father, child is brought across here and they get a certification of some doctor or somebody that says they delivered and the child is then registered that he is born on the soil and then later on when Mexico has free education or whatever he has they want to obtain the benefits of Mexican nationality having been born on Belizean soil when it is a very simple thing to do you were born there is no problem being born there the law is extremely clear born to Belizean parents any part of the world section 25 of the constitution you are a citizen at the date of your birth so all you need to do is to proof to immigration when you registered, you born off the soil you register at immigration you born on the soil you register at Vital Statistics off the soil proof that this is the parent a mechanism to do that born on the soil a mechanism to do that and am sure our collective mind can come up with a good process.”

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