Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Keith Bell Is a No-Show After Promising to Answer Woeful Immigration Claims

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Immigration Minister Keith Bell mired in controversy following troubling revelations from the ministry he heads, skipped the session in the House of Assembly where he was expected to answer to woeful immigration claims.

Leading up to the date an audio was released where Bell conducted a citizenship ceremony at a funeral for a woman and her two children, as a wish to Frank Racine–a man being buried, Bell promised to answer lingering questions in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

“The only thing I will say in respect to the matters of immigration is that a series of questions have been asked of me in the House of Assembly and it is on Wednesday which is the question time that I will appropriately answer all questions thoroughly, substantively and put this thing to rest once and for all,” he told reporters last week Friday.

But by Sunday, Opposition Leader Michael Pintard uncovered a web of new revelations of purported claims taking place in the Department based on a letter written by Director Keturah Ferguson claiming that 65 Chinese nationals were released without proper documentation at the behest of Bell and Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper who served as acting prime minister in January. Among other claims, Bell also reportedly approved a woman’s work permit while she was detained and waived the fee for the years she worked without a permit; gave approvals without interviewing; and granted approval for applications when employers could not prove financial support for the employee.

Instead of showing up to answer questions in the House, Bell through the Ministry of Immigration, released a statement to the media attempting to respond to a laundry list of questions raised about his dealings.

It may come as no surprise since Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell admitted to telling Bell that he should not respond to the controversies because it is not beneficial.

“The safest choice for the PLP in all circumstances is something I said to the accused MP, keep your counsel, keep your head down, do your work, you can’t straighten out any bet with some things and the folk who oppose us are not interested in the truth. They’re bound to duty to cause confusion so let’s not fall into that trap.”

Prime Minister Philip Davis only said on Monday that his office will release the details the public is seeking “in short order.”

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