Pacheco questioned on Kim Barrow’s brother- in- law’s nationality

Yesterday, at the Senate Select Inquiry into the Auditor General’s report on Immigration departments of Visa, passport, and nationality sections, Addy Pacheco was asked about the nationality certificate for Swedish national Peter Dahlstrom. This case was mentioned in the nationality report and red flagged by the Auditor General who contends that Dahlstrom did not qualify for citizenship in 2012 because he did not have uninterrupted occupation in Belize for one year. It was also noted that Prime Minister Barrow was the referee of that nationality certificate since Dohlstrom was married to the Prime minister’s wife’s sister. According to Addy Pacheco, who interviewed Dohlstrom, he qualified for nationality through his marriage and that requirement of one year residency in Belize could be waived under the condition of marriage to a Belizean.

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: I was made to understand that once a person was married to a Belizean, that person is deemed to be legal in the country from the date of marriage regardless of their legal status.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: But that provision has a qualification doesn’t it?vlcsnap-00193

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Meaning?

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: Doesn’t that provision that you are referring to only referred to persons who may have entered the country illegally prior to their marriage?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Well it’s basically left for interpretation.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: It’s left for interpretation?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: We were told at the department that, to look for the date of marriage, we went from date of marriage.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: To establish residence?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: yes.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: And who told you that?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: To the best of my knowledge I believe it was Mister Wade, Gordon Wade.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: One of the requirements is that he had to be residing in Belize? Isn’t that so? To obtain nationality?

 Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: He was under section 11, he was applying through marriage.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: He wasn’t residing in Belize at the time?vlcsnap-00192

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: I don’t know that.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: You don’t know? Would you agree with the comment made by the Auditor General that at the time this recommendation was made for nationality that he did not meet the legal requirements?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Say again, sorry.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: I’m asking if you would agree with the observations of the auditor general who says that at the time Mister Dohlstrom got his nationality, he did not qualify.

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: I would not agree with that because we were told that we had to look for date of marriage and we would have to go by the specific section that I told you. As long as a person is married to a Belizean we would go by his date of marriage, we would deem them to be legal from that date.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: And you are saying that this was told to you by Gordon Wade?

Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: Yes sir.

Michael Chebat, Senator, Senate Select Committee: Was this in the form of a memo?

 Addy Pacheco, Clerk, Immigration Department: No. That was one of the first things I asked for when I went into that section because to myself that was not very clear either.

 

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