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Jan 18, 2017

Ruth Meighan Speaks to Senate Committee; Can’t Explain Triple Dip in Immigration

The sitting of the Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration continued today in Belmopan. Current C.E.O. in the Ministry of Transport and National Emergency Management Ruth Meighan, a career public officer, appeared before the Committee on Immigration. She appeared without legal representation. Meighan was grilled on activities during her tenure as Director of Immigration, from 2010 to 2013, covering the entirety of the time of the Audit Department’s Special Audit of the Department. As top boss in the Department, Meighan’s name appears everywhere in the Reports, whether as signatory to permanent residence applications, visas and nationality certificates or in other capacities. Indeed, though no reason was disclosed, her U.S. visa was revoked and she was turned back from the U.S. last year when she attempted to enter the U.S via Houston. One of the things she was asked to explain was how persons allowed into Belize with visas suddenly obtained nationality, then passports. In one case the nationality and passport came the same day; in others, a few weeks to no more than six months. Meighan maintained that on the surface, everything looked legitimate.

 

Ruth Meighan

Ruth Meighan, Former Director of Immigration

“I wouldn’t say that it’s proper, but what can I say? The files probably came indicating that everything was in order, and based on that…I don’t want you to assume what was in the file. Well, this is all I can tell you, Senator: is that whenever an application comes to my desk – for nationality for example, because obviously, they received a nationality certificate so that they could receive a passport – I am assuming that that was what happened. If that file comes to my desk, it comes with information indicating that these persons met the requirements for nationality, and based on that, that then would be recommended to the Minister, for approval.”

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