Chamber reverses position; now wants Senate inquiry for Immigration

Posted: Monday, September 12, 2016. 6:11 p.m. CST.

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and IndustryBy Aaron Humes: The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is now joining the social partners, as well the Opposition, in the call for a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Special Audit of the Immigration and Nationality Department.

The decision preceded a letter written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Friday, following a meeting of the Chamber’s executive on Thursday.

The letter cites legal counsel as the reason for the change of heart. Having initially agreed to a Joint Special Select Committee comprised of both houses of the National Assembly, the Chamber now acknowledges that the House of Representatives lacks the constitutional authoritative order to conduct an investigation.  In fact, the Senate is the only legally recognized body charged with that mandate.

With regard to the chairmanship of this committee, it is the expectation that a social partner will chair, but the Prime Minister has adamantly refused to consider Senator Mark Lizarraga for the role. BBN understands that the Chamber will let it be a matter that the committee decides when and if it is constituted

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