Another question posed to Minister Hulse that has been posed to the present and past immigration directors surround the role and necessity of ministerial recommendations in applications for visas and nationality. For his part Minister Hulse said he does not support the practice.
Mark Lizarraga, Senator
“There was one letter I can recall Minister Contreras sent or it was for Minister Mena but the issue was sent saying that it was for Minister Contreras, I got confused are you familiar with what I’m talking about? It almost gave the impression that Minister Contreras had a certain, had the capacity to recommend a certain amount of persons using some of it for Minister Mena. I’m trying to find out what Minister Mena couldn’t have recommended for himself, why did it have to come via the way.
Minister Godwin Hulse
“You’d have to ask him but again we’ve gone over this several times you’d have to ask the Honorable Ministers and I think you have you have to see it and I’m not supporting it all because the director has the ultimate responsibility for these issues. The fact of the matter is though we do live, and we know this, in a political climate where everybody goes to their favorite Minister or representative its part of how we are governed and part of the fact that while there are structures for things to happen in our society whenever you have any difficulty whether its difficulty or not we have a tendency to appeal to our elected people that is why they have Wednesday Clinic and people go for everything you can imagine that is part of that process.”
Senator Mark Lizarraga continued to question the Minister saying he was trying to ascertain what weight ministerial recommendations have in the application processes. The minister says it is not necessary especially since the process is simple and straightforward.
Minister Godwin Hulse
“There was no need except in many cases people feel that it would expedite the process. I can’t suggest that in fact its to circumvent the process because the process was so simple but the simple answer is you’d have to ask the individual ministers whose names are listed why they felt the need to recommend anybody or why they were pushy etc. My position was and still is and continues to be that in the case of all these things the functionaries have a responsibility and I know and I have heard you say and I’ve heard Senator Courtney imply of the pressures but I have said time and again the structure is such that these people know these pressures should not be on them even the ones below the director. The director herself has no pressure on her, certainly didn’t have from me, has no pressure of her job because it is very secured, it is vested in law and if anybody were to say to anybody as senior as that, and I’m not suggesting they did, if anybody were to say to her she had all right to say ‘oh no I can’t go there at all. to appeal to the higher authority like I said which was me. So I can’t answer that beyond that but I hear you and I hear the concern because it keeps coming up over and over and over.”