Finance Officer Teresita Castellanos Turns Fire on Former Co-Workers
Castellanos went on to accuse immigration officers of treating ‘civilian’ officers like herself as ‘intruders’ at the Department and even cannibalizing their own who were doing the right thing. She added that efforts by Maria Marin as Acting Director, among others, to clean up the Department were undercut by the lack of support from the sprawling Ministry headed by Godwin Hulse and Elvin Penner. All of this, she told the Committee, led to the cementing of the reputation of the Department for ill-repute – a state of affairs she hopes will be remedied by exposure of the truth.
Teresita Castellanos, Former Administrative Officer, Immigration Department
“The resistance to follow instructions given by the head of Department and to adhere to the government regulations was frustrating. The culture by Immigration Officers of treating civilian public officers as the Director, the Finance Officer, the Admin Officer – we are considered as intruders in the Department. Of how dare we to come – example: how dare the FO comes to our office, to check our visa application file ….how dare….how dare them? The culture of immigration officers working against the civilians or any officer at the Department who was doing the right thing. The Immigration officers, they are a fraternity… the mentality of touch one, touch all. I would like to go further and state that the resistance by some officers was beyond my comprehension – resistance in adhering to regulations, to doing the right thing. At one point some of us were fearful for the life of the acting director, Maria Marin. Why? Because she was doing her job, because she was strict, because she was putting things in place for the hustling to stop. This is just a part of the story regarding the Immigration Department: the corruption behind closed doors; the intricacies; the lies and the attempt to cover up the wrongdoings—a Department, as far as I can call it, of ill repute. It is all sad. I will be hated for this, but I am under oath today and the truth must be told.”