Questions linger in issuing of visas to Haitian nationals

passportGovernment has suspended the issuing of visas to Haitian national but many questions remain unanswered as a damning memo purportedly from the Labour Commissioner, Matthew LeBlanc, dated January 12, 2015 to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit continues to receive much attention.

In that memo, which was obtained by DNO, LeBlanc stated that his many efforts at dealing with the matter of irregularities in the issuing of visas to Haitian nationals have been “vetoed.”

“As Labour Commissioner, I have become the victim of countless false accusations, libeling, assaults and threats, especially from persons who feel that I am hindering them from prospering in their business of making monies out of visas,” he said to the Prime Minister.

He made those comments after Prime Minister Skerrit along with two other government ministers visited his office on December 19, 2014 informing him that there was evidence which indicates that staff of the Division of Labour and Immigration was involved in what was described as “racketeering of visas/work permit”.

“You indicated that while you could investigate and have persons arrested, you are giving me the chance to investigate and fix it,” Leblanc wrote to the Prime Minister. “These revelations were shocking to me especially in the manner in which it was addressed to me. You no doubt appeared to have been very disturbed. I am of the understanding that you are expecting me to act immediately. I have been given directive by you to fix the referred alleged unethical behavior of some of my staff and their involvement with others in the processing of visas and work permits.”

He continued, “Sir, I am unaware of any current involvement of members of staff in the alleged racketeering of visas. However, as you may well recall, in my response to you, I indicated that I am aware that there are serious concerns about persons involved with visa applications and that I had information and intelligence also, most of which I have shared with the relevant other Government Agencies. I further indicated to you that no one has given me a listening on the matters that concerns me for many years as it relates to the processing of visas.”

According to the Labour Commissioner, his efforts to deal with the situation and some of the concerns raised by the Prime Minister have not been taken seriously by his supervisors and managers.

“You asked me to write to prove that I have been making efforts to deal with the situation hence my memorandum to you,” he said. “I have taken the opportunity to report on all areas of concerns to me as it relates the Division of Labour and Immigration and some of the services provided to the public. Sir, since 2008, I have raised numerous concerns at Heads of Division (management) meetings with Ministers for Immigration and Permanent Secretaries for Immigration. My countless efforts to have the Permanent Secretary organize a meeting with the Honourable Minister for Immigration to discuss my concerns were always turned down.”

He continued, “I was always given the assurance that my concerns are being addressed and that the authorities were aware of those concerns. It seems clear to me that these assurances were not genuine, since my experience in recent years have proven that I am still considered responsible for the numerous allegations leveled at the Division, especially regarding the processing and issuance of visas.”

He further stated that the mandate and directive given to him to “fix the racketeering” which involves staff of the Division of Labour and Immigration is a “very difficult one given the current circumstances.”

“My actions and decisions are continuously overturned, vetoed, reversed, overridden or revoked by my Ministers and Permanent Secretaries and numerous complaints made by me was never inquired into or investigated. This has undermined my confidence and that of my staff and has left the Division of Labour to be ridiculed, criticized, mocked and disregarded by members of the public,” LeBlanc stated.

All efforts at getting comments from the Minister of Justice and or the Prime Minister on the matter has proven futile.

See the full memo below.

Download (PDF, 442KB)

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47 Comments

  1. Home Grown
    February 6, 2015

    It’s just a matter of time. These five more years will be years of revelation. When our leaders are dishonest what do we expect from citizens. As they say what is good for the goose is hood for the gander. They know how to hide your corrupt acts that’s why Mr PM wanted to deal with it in a hush hush manner. But is not a police. In time to come my people, in time to come!

  2. Lang Mama
    February 6, 2015

    DNO please confirm with Carlisle cause I heard that we are moving away from the Eastern Caribbean Currency to one called KAKARAT currency.

    You see thee same thing I said I heard that. 2 kakarat per US dollar is the conversion rate. So 6000 KAKARAT per Dominica visa. Just imagine 600p kaka rat multiply by 10000 Haitian Zor look kaka rat. And they say we need Obama dollar chupessss. We have kakarat.

  3. G
    February 6, 2015

    only people crazy enough to go to Dominica would be Haitians,idots no wonder no country respects them,they fall for anything.

  4. Frenz
    February 6, 2015

    Notice no comment from those Christian proselytizers like the blogger Lizavier and thee other idiot in Canada Truth

  5. looking
    February 6, 2015

    Why are we complaining? Dominica Nice!. Bobol is a none issue because everyone does it. Dishonesty a none issue, everyone does it. Black crime, the crime of the poor is the issue, but the white crimes, the crimes of the well off in Dominica is OK. They are the cows, they are the ones feeding us. So please be quiet. Dominica Nice!

  6. Truth be Told
    February 6, 2015

    I am so happy that Dominicans voted back exactly the government that they deserve! Milk it Skerro and the boys, milk it! By the time those Labour Power and Labar ka twavay people wake up you guys will be multi-millionaires living in the country where your wife and son are citizens, and these people will all be pretending that they did not know! You just have to read the Bible to see how long human beings have been asking for “Barabas” instead! Well they are certainly being led by Barabas, now!

    • The Facts
      February 6, 2015

      Be careful of stones that you throw and calling people names they do not deserve and judging them. They will fall right back on you. God knows it too.

  7. Anthony Ismael
    February 6, 2015

    It appears that the process of obtaining a work visa in Dominica is an exercise in bureaucratic madness. From reading the initial document and the story itself, I can only imagine that there’s more to come. This story has been simmering on DNO for some time now with bits and pieces being released in different articles and responses.

    Things appear to be escalating now. I am reserving judgment until more information is released. Thus far the government has issued no statements concerning the memo which is pretty damning, if the accounts of the Labor Commissioner are true and correct.

  8. JAH KAL
    February 5, 2015

    MR Carbon do your job u have evidence start rounding up, started from the top heads must roll . Only in dominica people wake up too much talking .

  9. The Facts
    February 5, 2015

    It appears there is a major problem in issuing visas to Haitians. Serious-minded management of integrity are necessary.
    Government employees are paid to perform a satisfactory job. They are expected to be employees of integrity and to conduct themselves accordingly. An audit of visas and staff performance should be conducted.
    If approached to provide preferential treatment for monetary compensation, their duty is to refuse. Those who approach them for this special consideration should be reported and denied visas.
    As nothing is hidden forever and will one day come to light, to act otherwise, in the end, those who do not abide by their positions with integrity will eventually be caught and exposed.
    The one in authority to approve and sign those visas should be management of that department. This is the person who should be held accountable for also the performance of their subordinates.
    Management should hold a meeting with those staff members to seriously address this…

    • The Facts
      February 5, 2015

      My further opinion, upon commencement of employment, all government employees, no exception bank employees and others who are employed in other financial institutions specifically where money is concerned, should be bonded and required to take an oath of fidelity and integrity before a government/business attorney, on the premise they should be made to understand, should they breach this oath, they will be dismissed and also prosecuted, the latter based on the demeanor and seriousness of the violation. A Judge/Magistrate would be appropriate. Hopefully, this should deter and eliminate visas irregularities or any other irregularity for that matter.

  10. order
    February 5, 2015

    Watch out Matthew, you are being lined up to be the fall guy.

  11. $75 million worth
    February 5, 2015

    With this kind of Memo you mean to tell me that 1. An independent inquiry has not been launched? 2. Mr. Leblanc is still getting a salary? 3. The minister responsible for labor during that time still has a top job paid by tax payers? 4. Skerrit is still PM? 5.This Memo was dated January 15, 2015 and ONLY today we seeing it on DNO, while DBS, Marpin, Kairi and others have said nothing about it? Boy according to some real politician, if Dominica was a real country…..

  12. Felix AAron
    February 5, 2015

    I refuse to comment an the fixation on only the Government and the DLP because the UWP and there are perfect and if they are put in power there will be no more sorrow and no more pain. The sun will shine and there will be no night there. We will walk on streets of gold and we shall never be unhappy any more.

    Matt and carlisle are a pair of professional unprofessional s The have standards and seek to create excitement at the expense of the reputation of others to earn a daily bread. The more roro the more listeners and the more advertisement for q95, more commission for Matt..

    Credibility and journalistic values and ethics are hindrances to their daily bread.

    Expect them not to pay attention to the principle of fair and balance reporting.

    Did any one hear them on Tomson Fontain Vs the DAAS, in stead the asked Tomson how was he feeling, the facts were not important because it was UWP.

    It is not about integrity but how much they can increase their listener-ship by any…

    • Anthony Ismael
      February 6, 2015

      How is this a Matt or Carlyle issue? You have an official government document detailing some concerns and seeking guidance on the issuance of visas and work permits in Dominica. The only issue that makes this political is the simple fact that the issuance of such documents can only be issued by the state following certain protocol and laws of the land.

      Whatever political party that’s in office at the time will essentially feel the heat. Some of us are so blind with our political support that we can’t differentiate fact from fiction. I had no idea that neither Matt or Carlyle were ministers of government of Labor Commissioner.

    • Shaka zulu
      February 6, 2015

      So… You are admitting there is sorrow and pain? And you choose to remain in it. Some logic and reasoning you got there!!!!

  13. keno
    February 5, 2015

    He ready to hide under boyde knight skirt

  14. Shaka zulu
    February 5, 2015

    Why is it always the case that the prime minister always have evidence of criminal activity and no one gets arrested. If there was evidence of racketeering with state property that is a serious crime which should be investigated independently by the police and DPP. I think the pm is trying to micro manage every aspect of Dominica to the point where he is interfering with criminal activities. The only way to fix the problem is by carrying out an extensive investigation then arresting and imprisonment of all involved. This is madness.

  15. IF I WUZ
    February 5, 2015

    Parry, I would advise the Prime Minister to stay very clear of that scandal. He should immediately hand over all information in his position to the police. I would further advise him that as this scandal is in its early stage, please don’t make a bad situation worst, as he has already blundered , when he referred to the scandal as racketeering and asked Mr. Leblanc to fix it.

    • Views Expressed
      February 5, 2015

      While at his scandal, purport bobol, please investigate the bin bobol, fertiliser bobol and the GON Emanuel attempted murder…please keep all easy doors wide open that all shall enter the house of justice

  16. keep my secret
    February 5, 2015

    i am civil servant too and is not the government dat responsible for dem kind of crimes. you see the civil service have a system where they (the supervisors) cover up and sweep things under the rug and over the years it escalates and become a BIG problem. too often we prefer to wash our hands and have the moo moo attitude where we see but doh see – hear but doh hear. another concept is ‘if i cyan beat dem i join dem’ and then after so many years the younger generation become the scapegoats. who in the fire feeling the heat.

    honesty is not a prerequisite in the civil service. you have to be clandestine, brutal and heartless to survive in dis wretched system. but 40 days for d tief and one day for de watchman!! no wonder people migrating and throwing big stone behind their backs. we love de country but the countrymen making life difficult for each other. matthew chebe fort God is on your side.

    • February 6, 2015

      “Honesty is not a prerequisite in the civil service. you have to be clandestine, brutal and heartless to survive in dis wretched system. ” I SHARE YOUR PAIN. WHEN YOU TALK YOUR IMMEDIATE SUPERVISORS THINK YOU WANT THEIR POSITION. IT IS HEART WRENCHING TO WITNESS THE CORRUPTION IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE FROM PRINCIPALS TO SCAVENGERS…….BUT ONE DAY WE MUST ALL APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF GOD.

    • civil servant
      February 6, 2015

      this is exactly what is happening in the service and to often it is one set that is willing to challenge the wrongs and they will get victimized by the same government, after looking out for the governments interest.
      I would like to live and throw a stone behind my back but I am t deep into it, starting over somewhere else won’t be easy…
      YOU ARE AbSOLUTELY RIGHT

  17. new currency
    February 5, 2015

    now i know why they close down the police station in the extreme north so no eyes see the traffic coming and going out

  18. forkit
    February 5, 2015

    it seem that since elections Skerrit moomoo on all issue.

  19. FAST N FURIOUS
    February 5, 2015

    One wonders why this Memo was not signed by Matthew Le Blanc!? Just an observation.

    • forkit
      February 5, 2015

      idiot, this is a copy skerrit has the signed one…

      • FAST N FURIOUS
        February 5, 2015

        JACK , you are just assuming that he has the signed one,right?

      • Felix AAron
        February 5, 2015

        You are on to something but I will say no more.

  20. Alick
    February 5, 2015

    Haitian must start to talk

  21. Lang Mama
    February 5, 2015

    Gardais coma nous ca vivre en Dominique
    wat ca madais kakawat pous netwayais
    woy woy woy woy woy
    pour qui sa pour qui sa
    kaka wat ca netwayais ka ka gwo wat

    so how is the kakarat suppose to clean up after the big rats when the big rats hiding in “garbage bins”

    The country nice boy.

    The best joke is that three big rat go and as karat to clean up the stench so that big rats come out smelling like red lavender instead

  22. fast N Furious
    February 5, 2015

    Another set of lies by the opposition. The prime minister is as clean as a whistle even when hewas monster responsible for Labor. Charles Saverin is clean as asunday white dress even when he was minister for labor and immigration. Remember he told us the Kittitian gun man was coming t Dominica for his kid and there was no kid.
    The cleanest administration inthe whole world.

    • FAST N FURIOUS
      February 5, 2015

      You are a fake. You come in disguise. I don’t need your help. Try to write with your own USERNAME.

  23. Lang Mama
    February 5, 2015

    So the commissioner is now Kakarat. Lol. So who is Filan de bottom and

  24. Neutral
    February 5, 2015

    What is the the big deal about this. The PM realise that something was wrongly being done and he has the right to find a solution to solve the problem. Come on, thats so petty. Lets concentrate on the HOPSITAL TO BE RENOVATED OR NEWLY BUILT, the INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO BE BUILT AND SO ON.

    Suspend the issuing of visas or working permits to the Hatians and let move forward till we can solve this issue. COME ON MY PEOPLE.

    • Views Expressed
      February 5, 2015

      You are NOT neutral, you appear bias…….

    • Truth be Told
      February 6, 2015

      The big deal is the fact that this is high treason! This is a crime against the country, Dominica, perpetrated against vulnerable individuals, Haitian refugees. The Prime Minister, instead of referring this criminal matter to the Police for investigation went to attempt to have it cleaned, buried, white washed! Do you get the big deal now?

    • FORKIT
      February 6, 2015

      sweep it under de carpet like all the issues pertaining to Dominica’s reputation, example those passport selling market places we have in all over the midlle east.
      all those diplomatic passports sold to criminals. the issues are to much to mention

  25. Doc. Love
    February 5, 2015

    Thank you, DNO, I was beginning to give up on you. Since Matt and Carlyle broke the story and read the letter from Mr. Leblanc, with the exception of Q95, all news outlets on island have handled this scandal as if it was a bad scent. DNO and other news outlets on island must put pressure to the Skeritt led administration to make a statement, because the Government has been moomou. DNO should consider putting a news black out on all news items coming from the Government, until such time that a comprehensive statement is made.

    • Barbara Saunders
      February 5, 2015

      Doc Love

      Perhaps they were trying to establish that Q95 had obtained the document through lawful means. Was the document e-mailed to the PM so that the usual argument could be used that once something is on the world-wide web it is susceptible to sharing by unintended recipients?

      If it wasn’t e-mailed I wonder how it got to Q95? Were several people involved in its preparation so that any one of them could be the fall guy? Isn’t it a normal process in any organisation, I’m sure the public service is not excepted for a preliminary internal investigation to be done when irregularity occurs unless it is outright theft when the police are called in?

      I have noted, like you, that the media seems to be selective about the public’s right to know. There were some interesting stories over the last couple weeks which were not on some media outlets either including Q95 and DNO, but c’est la vie!

      • Views Expressed
        February 5, 2015

        I beg your pardon…..?If you spewing , spew,,,,don’t beat about the bush….

      • Ma Moses
        February 6, 2015

        Dear lady, it is not the messenger you should worry about but the message.

  26. AA
    February 5, 2015

    That’s just the start of the discovery of bobol by government and other officials. Wait till they start to investigate the issuing of passports and offshore license, then you will see if there are lawyers that have ministry stamps issuing there own offshore bank license

  27. Lizette
    February 5, 2015

    Applying for a visa or work permit from the Labour Division is NOT a crime. I heard some people on the radio station talking about criminal activity but they need to understand how it works. If I apply for a visa or work permit for any Haitian or Spanish and it is successful and they in turn wants to give me a token of their appreciation that is NOT a crime. So the man on the street has nothing to do with that. What is the crime is when the person issuing the visa gets paid for the service, Because really and truly the Labour Commissioner can decide who he gives visas or not. It is prerogative. How can it be illegal to do exactly what you were hired to do? Approve or Disapprove? Some Dominicans too stupid Tan. If somebody can prove they gave anyone money WITHIN THE LABOUR DIVISION then that’s the problem.

    • maindesk
      February 5, 2015

      It is the PM who said that he had evidence of racketeering

    • Mamizoo
      February 5, 2015

      Typical labor party hug wash. Make excuses for criminal behavior. No wonder the country is upside down

    • The Facts
      February 5, 2015

      If they are directly approached and/or informed, propositioned and offered money for issuing their visas and providing preferential treatment to these visa applicants while accepting money for visa issuance, then it is a crime. This must be investigated and proven.

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