Taiwanese National Injured During Traffic Mishap

A Taiwanese national who resides here in Orange Walk Town is lucky to be alive tonight after he was ...

The Wanted Fugitive, Dr. Errol Elrington Still At Large

In December we told you about an extradition request made by United States authorities for Attorney ...

Prime Minister On Medical Check Up Leave

Prime Minister Dean Barrow departed the country today for a follow-up medical consultative appointme...

Why Did Guatemala Trio Military Walked Through Benque Border

A short video recording showing Guatemalan military officials walking through the Belizean border fa...

GOB Mums About Guatemalan Authorities Entering Belizean Territory

“We are following up”…that’s the only response so far on the matter from an official of the Ministry...

  • Taiwanese National Injured During Traffic Mishap

    Wednesday, 17 January 2018 02:26
  • The Wanted Fugitive, Dr. Errol Elrington Still At Large

    Wednesday, 17 January 2018 02:29
  • Prime Minister On Medical Check Up Leave

    Wednesday, 17 January 2018 02:33
  • Why Did Guatemala Trio Military Walked Through Benque Border

    Friday, 19 January 2018 02:40
  • GOB Mums About Guatemalan Authorities Entering Belizean Territory

    Friday, 19 January 2018 02:46

Yesterday, Former Officer in Charge of the Nationality and Permanent Residence Sections of the Immigration Department, Gordon Wade, appeared before the Senate Select Committee and attempted to distance himself from any wrongdoing cited in the Auditor General’s special audit for the period 2011-2013.


Wade, flanked throughout the entire proceedings by his attorney Andrew Bennett, explained that his job was to vet documents before they were approved, that is, to ensure that the required files for nationality had been received and filed before he passed on the application with his recommendation to the Director of Immigration.


Wade’s testimony was that he always ensured that the required documents were reported as received. When this was not the case, he would not approve or submit to the Director but with caution notes. This is significant because in her testimony last week Former Director Ruth Meighan had cast doubt and suspicion on the officers below her, who she blamed for passing falsified documents and files for her to approve. Here’s some of Meighan’s testimony, followed by Wade’s.


Senator Eamon Courtenay - Member, Senate Select Committee


“You are telling us that you did not, you were not aware that a few weeks sometimes days, months before you had approved a VISA for x and a few days, weeks or months later you are recommending to the minister that these same person get Nationality you are not aware of that?”


Screen_Shot_2017-02-02_at_6.51.03_PMRuth Meighan – Former Director of Immigration


“Not aware of that sir because like I said the information on the VISA was not presented to me at the time, a file comes to me saying that this person has met the requirement for Nationality and the nationality file shows that the person has been living in Belize for five years based on the stamp that were in the passport and those are the information that I had in front of me and that is what I used to give the recommendation.”


Senator Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee


“What would you consider when you make a recommendation to the minister to grant or not to grant?”


Ruth Meighan – Former Director of Immigration


“The information that is required given to me by the officer in charge of the section.”


Senator Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee


“Am I to understand that if, you said it was Mr. Wade? If Mr. Wade sent you an application from an applicant that satisfied a picture, a reference, a medical whatever was required and he says all of those tick, tick, tick, you wrote to the minister and say I recommend granting Nationality so essentially you are rubber stamp? That’s a question?”

 

Ruth Meighan – Former Director of Immigration


“I don’t know, the fact that information is presented to me as accurate information, information that is presented on files telling me that these files meets all the requirements that is what I used, unfortunately that is what I had.”

 

Senator Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee


“So, again to be more direct, as far as you were concerned it was the officers below you who are at fault?”

 

Ruth Meighan – Former Director of Immigration


“As far as I am concerned, I was given inaccurate information by which I could make decisions on.”


Senator Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee


“You were given inaccurate information?”


Ruth Meighan – Former Director of Immigration


“That is what the Audit Report is saying; that the information presented they were falsified.”


Senator Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee


“She said that she took it on faith if Mr. Wade sent me a file and he has ticked everything, I don’t verify that is it. Mr. Wade has ticked it that’s it?”


Screen_Shot_2017-02-02_at_6.50.53_PMGordon Wade – Senior Immigration Officer


“Well, like I said I make it an effort to highlight…”


Senator Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee


“I understand and before we get to that I just want you to know whether you heard that, you understood her, the impression I got and let me be frank, and that she was blaming the people below her.”


Gordon Wade – Senior Immigration Officer


“Well, from hearing what she saying she said that she took it for granted that files that came up to her were in order.”

 

Senator Eamon Courtenay, Member, Senate Select Committee


“Aright and the question I have for you now is from your perspective a head of the department you have gone through and you are sending it up to her, was it your understanding or believe that she would do any verification?”

 

Gordon Wade – Senior Immigration Officer


“Well, like I said I would highlight the condition of the file is up to her discretion and I would never vet a file an mention that it would qualify or it met the requirements when it didn’t.”

Share this post

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.