During this morning’s presentation by Senior Immigration Officer Edgar Cano, the Committee asked him to discuss the controversial practise of Ministers submitting letters of recommendation along with applications for visas, passports and nationalities. According to Cano, while he didn’t recall seeing any correspondences from Ministers, he said they would be of no consequence to the application because their reviewed was based on criteria.


edgarEdgar Cano, Former Officer in Charge, Visa Section


“Not that I recall right now but if should a minister bring or send an application with his recommendation the services section accepts applications at the counter and if that comes at any time that would go to the front desk at the counter clerk as an ordinary application which the counter clerk at the front will do a preliminary vetting of the application to look at all the supporting documents that goes along with the applications thereafter enter it into our register which upon entering that on the register it goes to a different section which is names as investigation section which then they do all the processing and vetting, final vetting of applications then the application either comes back to me with a recommendation or a denial, comes with a vetting report from investigation, my section does not do vetting of applications and I must make that clear.”


In discussing, the issue of visa approvals, Cano admitted that there were times when he had to use his discretion when approving files. When he was questioned heavily for this, he indicated that the law allows him to do this because there is no set guidelines for the approval of when it comes to visas under special circumstances. In the afternoon, however, when it was the former CEOs turn to speak, she made it clear that there is no issue with clear guidelines.

 

Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member Senate Select Committee


“Would you like to make any recommendations?”


Edgar Cano, Former Officer in Charge, Visa Section


“I know of one thing that we are working on; most of the Port Commanders and Senior Officers are working diligently and hardly on creating a manual for the department and I think that is a priority and I know the Director has been working on that hard and we looked at that, it is while we need to create that manual we previously were operating without that manual and this is a critical part of the structure of the department.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member Senate Select Committee


“Now I need to ask this question, if we speak to the persons in charge, the Directors, and they are saying look, everything that has come to me has been complete?”


Candelaria Saldivar – Former Immigration CEO


“Then they have to answer to the Auditor General how the ones that she identify was not completed but all the sections as far as I know there is an Immigration and Nationality Services Manual, there is a Passport Manual, there is a Nationality Manual within the department so they knew what the procedure were.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member Senate Select Committee


“But with the greatest of respect, we have been asking if these documents are in existence and we’ve been told no.”

 

candyCandelaria Saldivar – Former Immigration CEO


“But they are I have one of them here, this is the Immigration and Nationality Services Manual, I have one for Passport and I have one for Nationality all of those were used in our deliberation in terms of the reform and restructuring of the department so these documents are there.”


In tomorrow’s newscast, we will have more on the testimonies at today’s Senate hearing.

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