Citizenship Minister Winston Felix has blamed the Government-owned Guyana Chronicle for the incorrect publication of naturalisation notices which was allegedly part of an immigration fraud at the Citizenship Ministry.
At his press conference on Wednesday, Jagdeo shared the notices that were published in the State’s newspaper, which showed that foreign individuals who applied for citizenship were being featured in more than one publication, but with different names and addresses.
However, Minister Felix on Thursday said that all the processes that the Department of Citizenship applies to applications for citizenship are enshrined in the Laws of Guyana under the Guyana Citizenship Act 1401.
“(It) requires the applicant for naturalisation to publish their applications for naturalisation in one of the daily newspapers. The Department has nothing to do with what appears in the newspapers. If an error occurs in the publication, that is a problem for the newspapers and the applicant. They have to sort that out and clear up any error that may have occurred,” Felix said.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had long been saying that the coalition Government is granting thousands of Haitians and Cubans citizenship in order for them to get voting rights for the upcoming elections. But Government had rejected this notion.
A meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs back in June 2018 had revealed alarming statistics involving thousands of Haitians and Cubans who are not only overstaying their time in Guyana, but cannot be accounted for.
As at April 30, 2018, a total of 1238 Haitians arrived in Guyana, but only 85 left the country. In 2017, some 3515 Haitian nationals entered Guyana, and 291 left; while, the year before, out of 722 Haitians who came here, only 451 were on record as leaving. There were 770 Haitian nations who arrived in 2015; 227 in 2014, and 188 in 2013; but only 136, 113 and 99 left the country respectively.