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Feb 23, 2017

Politics Responsible for Immigration Mess

Gordon Wade

We suspect that it hardly matters in the greater scheme of things, but both sides of the political divide have been accused of misusing the Immigration Department to their advantage, especially during election time. In 2012, the U.D.P. government swore in over two thousand new Belizeans in the run-up to general elections, which they won narrowly. As Gordon Wade told the Senate Special Select Committee on Wednesday, politicians come and politicians go, but the Immigration Department – and its corrupt practices – endure.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“We have heard of this culture that has existed in this department for so long and you’ve been there for twenty-seven years so you’ve probably seen it all. And over the years I’m trying to establish why were a lot of these things not addressed and fixed and why did it take an audit by the auditor general to really stir things up and to get some action – where we still haven’t determined what action and how many plugs have really been put in place; but what was it in this culture that blocked improvements? That blocked revamping of the way things were done, what is it in your view?”

 

Gordon Wade, Former Officer in Charge, Nationality Section
“Like I mentioned before these were political requests and it starts there because like I said if there was an audit to be done in the department at any time since the department have existed this would have been the same thing that would have been encountered.”

 

Mark Lizarraga 
“So you’re basically saying, if I’m hearing you right, is that the political culture is what has allowed this to continue?”

 

Gordon Wade
“Right.”

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