Minister Wilfred Elrington says he knows of no Cabinet decision to halt security clearance for nationality applicants

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Updated: July 21, 2017

During her testimony to the Senate Special Select Committee, Immigration Officer, Ady Pacheco stated that Cabinet directed applicants for Belizean nationality, especially Chinese, no longer go through the security clearance process. Minister Wilfred Elrington says he does not know of any such decision.

Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs
“I am not aware of that and I would not want to believe that. I would not want to believe that that is the case. If you are going to make a person a citizen of your country you have to do security clearance that is only natural and normal.”

Reporter
“Can you confirm whether or not cabinet gave the directive?”

Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs
“No, I can’t confirm that cabinet would have given such a directive, cabinet is not crazy. Cabinet is a very responsible body you see, it’s the most responsible body in the country. I certainly was not present when any such decision was taken and I don’t believe that such a decision was taken.”

Reporter
“So up to now nationals from China and those other countries you believe should still be screened?”

Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs
“Everybody who wants to become a citizen of Belize needs to be screened we don’t know who we are getting, we need to screen people to my mind that is standard procedure and they should pay for the screening too, we should not pay for it.”

When Elvin Penner appeared before the committee, he revealed that Cabinet requested monthly reports on the amount of Belizean nationalities being granted. Elrington told the media he was also not aware of that directive.

Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs
“I have heard that but I must confess that many times I am not in the Cabinet and so I don’t necessarily know all the decisions they make. I can’t recall being present when a decision was taken to require monthly, and I certainly have not seen any.”

Reporter
“But I’m sure as a minister you would ask your fellow colleagues to update you on those decisions throughout the week.”

Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs
“If it’s a matter of importance to me, I could get information on it yes but its not something detaining me now but you could ask; the cabinet secretary is the best person to ask because he has a record of the activities of the cabinet.”