CEO and Director have different views about ex-ministers

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Updated: October 11, 2017

During the sessions with Immigration Director Diana Locke, the Committee had questioned her about ex-ministers of government visiting the department regularly and who are presumably acting as immigration agents. Then, the Director said she was aware and that she was bothered by that since it portrayed the, quote, “impression that the department is facilitating the request of the political directorate,” end of quote. She added that while she was not aware whether or not these persons had any influence at the department, she was sure that they are at the department with much frequency. Today, CEO Zuniga was asked about these persons and he painted somewhat of a different picture.

 

Edmund Zuniga – CEO of the Immigration Department

“Let’s put it this way, many persons frequent the immigration department. My view is that the immigration department is a public office. I am not certain that there is anybody at the gate who questions individuals as to what it is that they are coming to do or whatever. I don’t know that it is in our place as a public service to do that but short answer is yes.”

Mark Lizarraga, Senator

“But it’s certainly in your place to have a clear policy that these persons should not have access to your staff working areas is that not so?”

Edmund Zuniga – CEO of the Immigration Department

“Members of the public are not allowed to be in the staff working areas.”

Mark Lizarraga, Senator

“That is not what we were lead to believe.”

Edmund Zuniga – CEO of the Immigration Department

“I guess we have a different view on what our work area is.”

Mark Lizarraga, Senator

“Okay.”

Edmund Zuniga – CEO of Immigration Department

“You have seen the layout of the offices at immigration? Members of the public are not allowed to be behind the counters. If a member of the public comes in to check on something that person is normally invited to sit down beside an officer in an office or inside the office but individuals don’t just walk in and out of the offices as far as I can see.”

Mark Lizarraga, Senator

“Well we were lead to believe otherwise I believe but you are saying that you don’t believe that that is happening, that is what you are saying? Okay.”