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“Nothing but the truth,” Marin takes the stand again

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

Former Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin, made bold declarations that government ministers were violating the application processes at the department, when she appeared for her second testimony before the Senate Special Select Committee this week.

Marin, who prefaced her testimony with a prepared speech, went into detail about the routine operations at the Immigration and Nationality Department, the efforts made to address the problems she found, and the lack of support from the parent ministry for the implementation of procedural reforms. She went on to say that she had documented evidence detailing the operations of a fast-track system for visa applications which came with ministerial recommendations.

Reading from that document, she said, “After much discussion, the following was decided: All applications supported by ministers/caretakers would come to the ministry for initial vetting. The ministry will then hand over to the Director of Immigration under confidential cover. Ministers or caretakers shall not act as agents or sponsors, but simply as support for the applicant or sponsor.”

She conceded that the instructions were in clear violation of the normal process and that they represented disregard for due process at the highest levels of government. She maintains that as Acting Director she made sure the applications that were to be fast-tracked still went through the proper vetting within the imposed five-day time limit.

She told the senators that she decided to come forward with the information in light of various dishonest testimonies of other witnesses appearing before the Committee, as well as comments targeted at her in an attempt to taint her character.
The public hearings will conclude with the last witness, Auditor General Dorothy Bradley.

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