The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is putting pressure on Minister of Energy, Science, and Technology Daryl Vaz to explain an annotation in his one-year US visa, which was renewed two years after it was canceled.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the PNP urged Vaz to “immediately provide a complete and honest public disclosure” of the facts behind the waiver.
If the minister fails to do so, he would be forced to retire or be removed from the Cabinet, according to the PNP.
“This visa has an annotation that says ‘212(SMALL D) (3) (A) WAIVER of 212 (A) (2C) (1)’, which is a clause that, under US immigration law, applied to controlled drug traffickers or their knowing aiders and abettors,” the PNP party said.
Vaz, a frequent Twitter user, reacted to the journalist who tweeted about the situation.
“I’m sure your media house was told by immigration experts that “whenever a waiver like this is granted, the advantages outweigh the cons,” Vaz tweeted.
“The allegation has been made, and it cannot be reversed. It was researched and determined to be without foundation “He went on.
Vaz did not specify the substance of the complaint leveled against him.
However, the difficulties surrounding the waiver necessitated more clarification for the Mark Golding-led PNP.
“Mr Vaz is a serving cabinet member, and the necessity for this waiver creates immediate issues that must be addressed, as it shows that the consular officer had cause to suspect that Mr Vaz is connected with narcotics trafficking,” according to the PNP statement.
“While we recognize that visa cancellation under this provision of US immigration law does not meet the bar of proved misconduct, “Az must explain to the people of Jamaica why there is cause to suspect he has been involved in narcotics trafficking, necessitating the necessity for this special waiver,” it said.
If Vaz refuses to make complete and honest public disclosure, the opposition says he “should either resign or be removed from the Cabinet.”