Of Masters and Their Slaves

"It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master." ―Ayn Rand

Friday, September 28, 2012

Min. Hulse Speaks on the Rafic Labboun Immigration Debacle

Rafic Labboun "Allaboun" a.k.a Wilhelm Dyck
Rafic Labboun "Allaboun"
a.k.a Wilhelm Dyck
And while that happened inside the Chamber, outside we spoke to Senator Godwin Hulse - about his other role - as Minister Of Immigration.

Last week the Prime Minister announced that Hulse was leading a comprehensive review of the system to tie up loopholes and eliminate corruption. That's after Lebanese-American Rafic Labboun - an alleged Hezbollah affiliate - got a Belizean passport in two days - using the identity of Wilhelm Dyck - a Mennonite newborn who died in Shipyard 26 years ago.

Hulse told us that the legislation is archaic:

Hon. Godwin Hulse
Hon. Godwin Hulse
Hon. Godwin Hulse
"We are working feverishly. Even as we speak the staff is putting together some final changes which we have taken to the SolGen to redo the legislation. The legislation is archaic and so there are some gaping holes - put in a nutshell perhaps it was at the time when men were very honorable."

"What we seek to do is to ensure 3 things: first, that anybody who holds a document representing them as part of this beautiful family we call Belizeans that when they come for that document they are who they say they are and they are a Belizean either by birth, decent or registration and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that that is the case. When they step abroad and they represent themselves as a member of this family it can be genuine because for everybody who misrepresents they disenfranchise every one of us: you, myself and all the rest of us will look like some kind of fake, so we are intending of ensuring that."

"We've redone the forms; it will pose a little bit of inconvenience when you now apply for a passport. It's not going to hold up the process but you have to go through a few extra steps. I ask the citizens to bare with that because it's better to be inconvenient at home than to stand alone in Miami or somewhere and be inconvenience."

Jules Vasquez of Channel 7 Belize
Jules Vasquez of Channel 7 Belize
Jules Vasquez
"Was there from your studied opinion any malpractice or malfeasants or corrupt behavior in facilitating nationality papers for Rafic Labboun aka Wilhelm Dyck?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse
"How the question is poise I can't say there is. What I can say is that because the process and the system was the way it was all those criteria were met; person came with a birth paper, person came with a form sign by a JP, person came with a social security card - he was good to go."

Jules Vasquez
"You believe that the person came with a social security card? We know that no social security card was issued."

Hon. Godwin Hulse
"He came with one that looks like a social security card and so the immigration department I guess at that time and still now is not equipped to verify those. We are going to enhance the identity, so we will make absolutely certain when you say you are Jules Vasquez - that's who you are and when you say you are a Belizean - that's who you are."

Jules Vasquez
"I understand that there are four Nepalese detain with Pakistani passports with Belize Visas right now at immigration department or they were earlier this week. Is this information that you have receive?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse
"It's coming in bits and pieces, we've heard all sorts things, but where the visas are concern, again we are tightening that up to make sure that only persons who are genuine visitors to this country are allowed. If you are sponsoring somebody things like you will be require to place a bond, persons are require to have departure tickets etc. if you say you are leaving by the airport and you manage not to leave by the airport - the sponsor forfeits his bond and all sorts of things we are tightening up on that process as well."

Jules Vasquez
"However, has there been a recent infraction with visas?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse
"Not officially informed to us I will say. We've heard it unofficially as well, the Ministry of National Security has been looking into it and our departments have been looking into it. Some texts have been coming in while I was speaking and I haven't have a chance to look at them."

Hulse added that there will also be some personnel transfers coming out of his review.

This article was first published by 7 News Belize.

Rafic Labboun is an imam with the Northern California-based Shia Association of Bay Area (Saba Center of San Jose) and Fatimiyya Islamic Center of Hayward.

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