General — 12 November 2016 — by Micah Goodin
Birth certificate scams practically impossible to stop: Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov. 9, 2016–Last Thursday a Belizean woman from the village of Progresso in the Corozal District was denied her birth certificate because it was among other documents already under investigation by the Registry Department.

In an exclusive interview with Amandala, the distressed woman alleged to us that officials at the Registry told her that a man known only as “Garcia” sold her birth certificate to a Mexican national.

She told us that several persons from her village were victims of this apparent birth certificate scheme, in which their birth certificates were sold to Mexican nationals.

Despite having a Social Security card and being able to prove her parents were born Belizeans, the woman returned home without her birth certificate.

In an interview with Amandala on Tuesday, Immigration and Nationality Minister Senator Godwin Hulse did not deny the occurrence of birth certificate schemes.

“Yeah, we are aware of that; that has been going on forever; in fact, you will remember that there were twenty-two persons brought to court who had committed what Immigration thought was an offense, and those people got away.

“You see, when you have a baby, and you go to register the baby, there’s no DNA; there’s no fingerprint; there’s no picture; there’s nothing. And so that’s a complicated system; that whole Registry thing of registering people who were born, was in the old days based on trust and integrity,which no longer exists in that sense. So it’s easy to get a birth certificate, and once you got a birth certificate, you’re good to go,” he said.

However, when told by a reporter that we should never stop trying to improve the system, Hulse replied, “I agree with that; I mean, why would we stop? We need to drive those processes, and this is why I am a bit disappointed at how this whole process of reform and this process of change goes, because it gets into an emotional level many times, and then we get devoid of what is practically required to get it done. There are some things that are practically required, and people – if you institute those things, people start to bawl.”

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