By SEAN DOUGLAS Wednesday, July 4 2007
MIDST numerous complaints from citizens queuing up during the wee hours of the morning to get a number to seek their passport, Immigration Division officials yesterday revealed that some 2,000 newly-issued passports are at the Immigration Office awaiting collection.
This disclosure came from Chief Immigration Officer Herman Brown before the parliamentary Joint Select Committee (JSC) chaired by Independent Senator Parvatee Anmolsingh-Mahabir.
In response to Brown’s revelation, Minister in the Ministry of Tertiary Education Satish Ramroop, urged the Division to tell the public what was happening to the system of issuing passports.
UNC Senator Wade Mark could not believe what he heard from Brown.
Mark contrasted the pile-up of 2,000 passports to the daily plight of hundreds of applicants lining up at the division from as early as 1 am. He asked Brown how long these unclaimed passports were at the office, over what period they had been issued and what steps had the division taken to notify people their passports were ready.
In reply, Brown said they were all the new-style machine-readable passports and had been issued since January. The passports had all been paid for and issued for particular individuals.
He promised to place an announcement in the press of the names of persons whose passports were ready to be collected.
Mark said the situation was very strange. “Something’s wrong Sir. You may have uninvited guests in our country,” Mark said.
Now two things ha to be happening here if you think carefully.
One is that the niggas and dem feel dey was givin away food hampers and maybe ah cepep wok, so they flock to collect passports.
Two, the PNM musbe issue ah set ah passports for some Grenadians and Vincys to come down for the next election. And dey jus aint reach as yet.