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No more excuses, says NTUCB to Salazar: produce Senate report

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Posted: Monday, October 28, 2019. 4:10 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Senator and chair of the Special Senate Select Committee on Immigration, Aldo Salazar swore it was not an excuse when he told reporters recently, “The exigencies of my professional life, as well as my personal life and so on, have not allowed me to complete [the Special Senate Select Committee report]. That’s not to say that it won’t [be] completed, or that’s not an excuse. But that is the reality, I am working on it. That’s all I can say.”

The National Trade Union Congress (NTUCB) says that’s not good enough.

This afternoon the Congress, one of the bodies represented by Senator Elena Smith on the Committee, made note that it has been almost two years since the first hearings were conducted on the Auditor General’s Report on Immigration and Nationality, and not so much as a draft has been produced.

Appointed as chair after other members of the Committee declined for various reasons, the Senator cannot lean on his other work as having kept him from his sworn duty, and he knew, says the Congress, that this was his responsibility as chair.

The Committee was asked by then-Senate President Lee Mark Chang with the concurrence of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Opposition Leader John Briceño to determine whether, consequent on the investigation and inquiry, statutory and other procedures were complied with and to make a report in a practical and timely manner. The Congress called on Senator Salazar to make good and submit the report expeditiously.

Separately Senator Salazar denied any political involvement in the delay; he is an appointee of the United Democratic Party (UDP). He said it made no sense to him – and therefore was “nonsense” – that the Government would try to delay the report because all of the drama and embarrassing details for Government came out in the public hearings conducted between November 2016 and December 2018.

And he issued a warning that the report will be “very boring” after all of that drama, which consumed more than 300 hours of testimony and deliberation and hundreds of pages of notes in his office and elsewhere.

Salazar gave no hints as to whether the report will be unanimous, majority or minority.

The other members of the Committee are Senator Dr. Carla Barnett (UDP); former Senator Eamon Courtenay (People’s United Party – PUP); Churches Senator Ashley Rocke; Business Senator Mark Lizarraga and Trade Union/Civil Society Senator Elena Smith. Current Opposition lead Senator Michel Chebat substituted for Courtenay at multiple hearings.

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