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Immigration Director says former ministers still agents in Immigration

Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017. 9:45 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Yesterday, hearings resumed for the Senate Special Select Committee and Diana Locke, current Immigration Director, was called to testify.

Locke had already testified during two sessions but the committee still had other questions for her.

Her revelations yesterday included that two former UDP cabinet ministers are still providing immigration services.

The Senate hearings have revealed wide-spread corruption at the department, where agents regularly get official documents for people who don’t qualify.

The startling revelation was that agents are still carrying out services on behalf of other persons and according to Locke, the staff is not happy with their influence at the department.

“I don’t know that they have any influence, but I do certainly know that the staff is not happy with it. I have spoken to them; I have spoken to the persons concerned. The one you met at the parking lot does not come by very often, the other one you referred to, some days I wonder if he works there. I have raised this matter with my ministry, because I don’t like the image that it portrays because it gives the impression that the department is facilitating the request of the political directorate, which is not the case and I have spoken to that individual. He persists on coming back. He says that it is a public place and he has had a lot to say but I have to put that aside because it is not the right thing to do. The staff has already been informed and I’m sure he’s listening to me today. The staff has already been informed that when we go to our new location that no member of the public will be allowed behind the counter in any of the areas where we have and we are taking steps to actually put fingerprint machines so that areas area actually restricted and only those persons who work in those areas can access those areas,” Locke told the committee.

In response to Interim Chair, Mark Lizarraga when he asked if there aren’t off-bounds areas at the Immigration officer, Locke said that there are but those rules are not adhered to. Lizarraga questioned why the director would not stop the agent from entering their offices, to which Locke responded: “Out of respect for the fact that that individual was a former minister, I have addressed this matter with my ministry, I cannot stop that individual if he wishes to go on the second floor if he wishes to have a meeting with my CEO or my minister, but I do have objections to his being in and around the office with the frequency with which he does it.”

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