General — 12 July 2013 — by Adele Ramos

At the Philip Goldson International Airport at 8:00 this morning, Immigration authorities implemented the newly computerized border management system, which Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO, and Immigration & Nationality Services, Godwin Hulse, has said is intended to improve data capturing and security at all Belize’s border entry and exit points, particularly in cases in which visitors receive visas upon arrival in Belize.

Currently, a pen and logbook system is in place, but the implementation of the new system will mean that everything will be computerized. This should ensure that there is better tracking of migrants.

“What we are saying is that right now, as you know, when you come in, you go through Immigration but when you go out, you really don’t, and so [we] don’t have any proper data as to who leaves the country. This is what this new system is going to do. So tomorrow, we are launching it at the PGIA, it’s countrywide, at all the border points, so that we will be able to track,” Minister Hulse said.

He added that although some travelers are given visas when they enter Belize, Immigration does not always know if and when they leave, and if they overstay their time.

Hulse said that, “this system is intended to correct that deficiency, I guess, after 32 years of Independence, so we could know who comes and who leaves, and if we don’t see you leave, we know you are here, or have overstayed your time, or have left illegally or whatever. In a nutshell that’s what that’s all about.”

According to the Ministry, the comprehensive software will capture all arrivals and departures of travelers in the country of Belize.

The Personal Identification and Registration System has already been installed and tests are ongoing countrywide, the ministry added.

The system will also be set up at all immigration offices countrywide

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