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Oct 18, 2019

Minister Hulse Tells U.S. Chargé d’Affaires How It Is!

Deborah Baptist Estrada

Deborah Baptist Estrada is moving up to replace Diana Locke as the Director of Immigration. Estrada is being promoted from her post of Deputy Director of Nationality and Passport Department.  Locke is now retiring after long years as a pubic officer with spectacular service in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Service and Immigration.  Estrada has been working in the public service for about twenty years and has been recognized by the U.S. with the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.  Reports inside the department, however, suggest that the staff is not happy about her promotion. Minister for Immigration Godwin Hulse says that Estrada enjoys his support and is acting until her substantive post is confirmed by the Public Service Commission. During the interview, Hulse spoke of a meeting he had with the U.S .Chargé d’Affaires, Keith Gilges, following Estrada’s appointment.  It is suggested that Gilges summoned Hulse to speak on immigration matters including Estrada’s appointment.  Hulse put the record straight, saying that neither the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires nor President Trump can summon him and the U.S. will not interfere with cabinet’s decision to promote Estrada. 

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration

“She is by far very well qualified and has had tremendous experience in immigration across all the various departments. So we think she is imminently qualified to hold this post and of course it will be an acting appointment until some confirmation. That is how it is done in the public service. So she will take over as the acting director of immigration temporarily until her appointment is confirmed or otherwise.”

 

Reporter

“Does she fulfill all paper requirements?  I am sure that there is a list of requirements: education, experience. Has that been a challenge? Because legally she doesn’t fit the criteria.”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Remember we said that she is acting appointment.”

 

Reporter

“Well she will act until she gets her bachelors?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Well I don’t know. We don’t want to go there. Remember that Maria Marin acted for a long time in immigration and then she got confirmed for Director for Refugee.”

 

Reporter

“But what does it say about people who have also grown in immigration who may be being bypassed, who may have the experience as well?  You are saying that she is the most pertinent person to put?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Nobody is being bypassed. She is up there in the ranks of all the other officers and consequently very capable of holding the job.”

 

Reporter

“This isn’t the result of any pressure from the US? Because it is being alleged that other people who are more senior can’t take the job because they can’t even travel to the US.”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Well let me tell you something. Yesterday I met with the Chargé d‘Affaires Mr. Gilges and the first thing I said to him that this is a courtesy call because you have no authority and I am sure you are not trying to suggest that you have to suggest to our government who to put at the top. So we are telling you this is a cabinet decision and this is going to happen and we trust you respect it and that was that.”

 

Reporter

“Minister what then would the Chargé d’Affaires of the US want to speak to the Minister of Immigration about to be calling you into a meeting?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“He didn’t call me into a meeting, please. He could never call me, nobody. Not President Trump, nobody could ever call me in a meeting. I say that publicly and please put it up there. Only three people could summon me. Make me explain them to you; Majesty the Queen, Governor General of Belize and the Prime Minister of Belize not another living human being can summon and won’t.”

 

Reporter

“But what was he interested in speaking about then.”

 

Godwin Hulse

“He just wanted to speak about various things concerning immigration. America is always concern and I have said to them too that I am concern about your policies which you can’t straight and when you get your policies straight then we may copy you. You can quote me.”


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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