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Jun 28, 2017

Ady Pacheco Defends Peter Dahlstrom Decision

Immigration officer Ady Pacheco was the sole witness this morning. She was thoroughly grilled by the members of the Committee on various cases and scenarios resulting in improper granting of nationality, visas, and permanent residence. One such case is that of Peter Dahlstrom, the Swedish national who married a Belizean and twenty years later sought Belizean nationality. He was granted such with a reference from no less than Prime Minister Dean Barrow, despite the sticking point of not residing in Belize for enough time to qualify. Despite the objection of Pacheco’s attorney David Morales, Senator Eamon Courtenay established that the Department substituted its own interpretation of the law for what was actually written.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“Is it your evidence to this Committee that every Belizean man who marries a non-Belizean woman, on day one, that non-Belizean woman qualifies for what?”

 

Ady Pacheco, Immigration Officer 1

“From day one? No, it would be a year after the date of marriage.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Regardless of where the person was living?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“That’s what I was made to understand; yes, sir.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Have you read Section eleven?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I have read section eleven and I also asked for it to be cleared by my OIC; he went on to explain that under this specific claim; the key word would be “reside” and “domicile” because it was further explained in Chapter 156; that was the explanation that I got.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Alright, so let me make it easier for you then. As far as you knew, Mr. Dahlstrom did not physically reside in Belize?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“That is correct?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“That is correct.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And as far as you were told, under section eleven, the fact that he was married, regardless of where he was living, he was deemed to be residing in Belize?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes, sir.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And therefore, you said that he qualified?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes, sir.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Based on what you were told or based on your conclusion?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Based on what I went for clarification with.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“From?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“From my OIC.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Would that be Mr. Wade who gave evidence here before?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes, sir.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“You did not hear his testimony?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“No, sir.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Could you read paragraph seventy-eight point two? You see that – “we observed some irregularities in Mr. Dahlstrom’s nationality file which indicated that he did not qualify for Belizean nationality.” You see that?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Could you read into the record what is the next thing, paragraph one?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“On his application, he wrote, eventually [I] want to reside in Belize.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“So, the applicant, Mr. Dahlstrom, wrote on his application that eventually he wants to reside in Belize – at the time of the application, he was not resident in Belize.  Is it your view, having worked for twenty years in the Immigration Department, that a person who is applying on the basis of section eleven – marriage – that the person has to physically reside in Belize or not?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Under section eleven; I asked for clarification and that was what I was told, what I mentioned to you earlier.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Which is?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“That they were deemed to be legal, to be residing in Belize from date of marriage.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“They were deemed to be, even though they were not physically residing?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“Yes, sir.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And that’s what you were told?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“That was what I was told when I asked for clarification.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Was that the first application for a person by nationality by marriage that you were doing?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“No.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Other than that, did you ask every time to find out what the position was? Why were you asking on this one?”

 

Ady Pacheco

“I don’t believe it was this specific case that I asked; I had asked before and that’s what I was told.”

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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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