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Sep 5, 2017

Senate Returns with Private, Public Hearings

Aldo Salazar

The Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration resumes on Wednesday after a month-long break. However, the public hearing will not be held at its usual morning time slot, but in the afternoon. The reason for that is according to our sources, the Committee’s members will be meeting in private in the morning with a witness. Thereafter, the first witness to be called when the public hearing resumes at one-thirty in the afternoon is Diane Locke, director of Immigration. Chairman of the Committee Senator Aldo Salazar told us in July that Locke and Minister Godwin Hulse would be closely questioned on what has changed in the Department since the revelations of 2012 and 2013, which will go a long way in the Committee’s final report.

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee [File: July 26th, 2017]

“I think we are losing sight of what the report is really about. We are looking at the processes in the Immigration and Nationality Department, what went wrong and what we can do to fix it. We know as a fact that a decision may have been taken – I don’t know where – a decision was taken to do away with that; I don’t know the reasons for that. But I think we should look forward as to what our recommendation should be in that regard. We know it was done; I don’t think there was any devious plot behind it; so we should be looking as to whether we recommend that it should be continue, or whether we feel comfortable that the status quo would remain. We haven’t even heard from the department now as to what it has been doing; as far as I understand it, there have been many, many things that have come up in the course of the inquiry which the Department has already addressed and for my part, I am looking forward to hearing what has been done since the emergence of these issues in the Department, what has been done to correct it. And I feel that that, for me, would be more beneficial than some of the things we have heard.”

 

Reporter

“So it would be safe to say that the current minister of Immigration who was minister at the time of this, Godwin Hulse, who has not been heard from – I think he told us from back in May that he had been subpoenaed but he had not been called; and the current director of Immigration, Diana Locke, would be among those witnesses that you mentioned would be heard toward the end of August?”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Yes. I would have heard from Senator Hulse already, and he’s definitely going to be asked to come, and from my understanding he is willing to come; he’s just waiting for us to let him know formally.”

 

News Five will have coverage in Wednesday evening’s news.

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