Guatemalan Housewife Convicted of Immigration Offense and Must Leave Behind 2-Year-Old Daughter Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 August 2014 00:00

Erika Marilou Ortega Jolon, a 20-year-old Guatemalan housewife, was caught living in Belize illegally and on Tuesday, August 5, she was convicted of an immigration offense in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court forcing her to leave behind a two-year-old daughter.

Jolon is a resident of Melchor De Mencos, Petén Guatemala. On Tuesday, she appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart where she was read a single charge of failure to produce a visitor’s permit. According to reports, she entered Belize on July 10, 2014 through the Western Border and was granted a permit to remain in Belize until July 13, 2014. However, at about 7:00 a.m. on Monday, August 4, Jolon was stopped and removed from a bus at the Mile 5 ½ checkpoint on the George Price Highway. She was asked to produce her visitor’s permit but was unable to do so. Jolon was then taken into custody and handed over to the Belize Immigration Department for further investigation.

In court, Jolon wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense. She was very emotional and threw herself at the mercy of the court in mitigation plea. She said, “I am guilty because I was unable to leave the country because my child is sick. Whatever it is I will accept.” Since she is a first time offender, a non-custodial sentence was imposed in which she was fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court fee. The Immigration Department also requested a removal order which was granted by Magistrate Stewart.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 14:28