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Jun 1, 2017

Recommendation Rubberstamp: Alvarene Says the Hustle Continues

Mark Lizarraga

Burgess testified that, to her knowledge, no visa for which she obtained a minister’s recommendation was rejected.  This buttressed previous testimony that Immigration staff considered a minister’s intervention tantamount to approval from on high and passed on the files without serious consideration of the worthiness of the applicants.  Burgess also stated that even after the Prime Minister’s famous statement that ministers were to stop procuring visas for foreign nationals, made in October of 2013, she had personally met others involved which led to her belief that it was still continuing.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community
“Am I to understand from your testimony that going through the visa application process with a minister’s recommendation guaranteed approval?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

Alvarene Burgess, Whistleblower
“Yes.”

 

Mark Lizarraga
“Why do you say this?”

 

Alvarene Burgess
“Because when Mr. Chan explained it to me, he was already in that business. So he knew that ministers were doing that visa… project and having that letter head from the minister’s desk is a sure guarantee that that visa…because it bore weight.”

 

Mark Lizarraga
“And in your actual experience, did any of the visa application that you were involved with, was any of those ever denied?”

 

Alvarene Burgess
“None.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Is it your testimony then, that this type of activity was still taking place after 2013 and into 2013 and could still be taking place in 2017 if you wanted to?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“If I wanted to, because I am not really familiar with some of the people that I met outside of Immigration but it still continued; not with me.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“How do you know that? How do you know that it continued?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“Like I said, I have met with some of the people that does it…”

 

Aldo Salazar

“What are their names?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“That’s the problem, like I am mentioning…”

 

Aldo Salazar

“No, I’m asking you – you’ve said you’ve spoken to them, what are their names?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“Yes, I have met…”

 

Aldo Salazar

“You met with them…”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“People, maybe at the market…”

 

Aldo Salazar

“What are their names?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“Or different places – could I finish?”

 

Aldo Salazar

“You see, this is the thing: we need to know who exactly is involved in this.”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“I came here to tell the truth and I am going to tell the truth.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Okay, go ahead and tell the truth.”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“I have met people who aren’t my friends, but I know – that I am not saying they were doing it with Edmond, with whoever; I don’t know whoever they were doing it with but I know they were doing it. And I have met maybe two or three of them – don’t know their names and maybe they only know my name by what they saw on the media; and they have said, well, I’m still there. But I don’t know their names and since I stopped doing it, I am not interested in whoever is doing it.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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