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Jun 21, 2017

Why Peter Dahlstrom is a Belizean by marriage

Ady Pacheco

It had not been discussed at all at prior hearings, but Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s name does appear in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on Nationality as a referee for Swedish national Peter Dahlstrom, who was married since 1994 to his wife Kim Simplis-Barrow’s sister. Despite Dahlstrom being married for more than twenty years to a Belizean national, the Auditor General contends that he did not qualify for citizenship in 2012 because he did not have uninterrupted occupation in Belize for one year. But Immigration officer Ady Pacheco, who interviewed Dohlstrom and noted that he qualified for nationality through his marriage, states that the relevant section of the law is open to some interpretation.

 

Michel Chebat, P.U.P. Senator

“You were the one who interviewed this applicant?”

 

Ady Pacheco, Immigration Officer 1

“Yes.”

 

Michel Chebat

“You interviewed the applicant and you are the one…and you made a notation on the minute sheet?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I made a notation on the interview form.”

 

Michel Chebat

“On the interview form and what was your notation?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“It was a question that was always asked in the interview a standard question that asked if the person qualified for nationality.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Right and your notation was that he qualified?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Under section…yes for citizenship thorough marriage.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Right, and did you before making that notation, did you conduct any investigation.”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Well I was made to understand that once a person is married to a Belizean that person is deemed to be legal in the country from the date of marriage regardless of their legal status.”

 

Michel Chebat

“But that provision has a qualification. Doesn’t it?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Meaning?”

 

Michel Chebat

“Doesn’t that provision that you are referring to only to refer to persons who may have entered the country illegally prior to their marriage?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Well, it’s basically left to interpretation. We were told at the department to look for the date of marriage, we went from date of marriage.”

 

Michel Chebat

“To establish residence.”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes.”

 

Michel Chebat

“And who told you that?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“To the best of my knowledge I believe it was Mr. Wade.”

 

Michel Chebat

“Mr, Wade told you that?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Gordon Wade, yes.”

 

Michel Chebat

“And so when…one of the requirements was that he had to residing in Belize. Isn’t that so? To obtain nationality?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“He was under section eleven, he was applying through marriage.”

 

Michel Chebat

“He wasn’t residing in Belize at the time?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I don’t know that.”

 

Michel Chebat

“You don’t know? Okay. You recommended or you placed on the minute sheet that he actually qualified under section…”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I did not place in the minute sheet.”

 

Michel Chebat

“No?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I did not write that on the minute sheet, I wrote that on the interview form.

 

Michel Chebat

“And the interview form, forms a part of what the director would look at when deciding whether to recommend nationality or not?

 

Ady Pacheco

“I don’t know if she looks at that, I know she would definitely be looking for the vetting from the officer, from the vetting officer.”

 

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