Walton Brown Reiterates PLP Position On PRCs

July 29, 2014

The PLP’s “position on the issue of PRCs and Bermuda status has been clear and consistent but in light of recent distortions of it a re-statement is necessary,” Shadow Minister for Immigration Walton Brown said.

Mr. Brown said, “We call for a suspension of the discretionary grant of Bermuda status under Section 20B of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956 and a comprehensive review of immigration policy so that there can be developed a 21st century solution.

“We proposed an amendment to the Act to close what has been termed a loophole but this was rejected by the OBA. We oppose the granting of status based on a judgement by the Chief Justice since our view is that policy changes should be the express will of the people through their elected representatives and not a court decision.

“It should be noted that both the PLP and OBA held the same position prior to the 2012 election on the granting of status to PRCs,” added Mr. Brown.

“The need for comprehensive immigration reform is obvious and the current OBA position is more rooted in political considerations than a desire to have proper assessment of all issues and all people affected by immigration policy. A number of questions need to be answered in any proper review.

“For example, is there an optimum number of PRCs or Bermuda status grants that should be issued in any year? What, if any consideration, consideration should be given to persons who came to Bermuda after the PRC cutoff date of July 1989 and have stayed since then?

“Should we adopt the principle that immigration policy should give all members of a family the same rights or should the current policy be retained? There are many more such questions which need to be answered but now any comprehensive review will be against a backdrop of bad faith by this government.

Mr. Brown continued, “Immigration policy is an important and complex matter as the rights and privileges granted to Bermudians, PRC holders and other long term residents must be examined and a policy developed to address all groups.

“We are committed to doing this in a measured way but it must begin with a return to the status quo ante; it must be comprehensive; and it must assess the interests of all affected persons.”

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Comments (74)

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  1. Joonya says:

    You did not get what you want exactly how you wanted it. Let us remind you the PLP is not the current government. Reform will take place. You have to be patient and stop whining like little children.
    And you have the nerve to call certain people of OBA dictators..

    • Maddog says:

      White supremacy is the belief, or promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds and that therefore whites should politically, economically and socially dominate non-whites. The term is also typically used to describe a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial dominance of whites.[1] Different forms of white supremacy have different conceptions of who is considered white, and different white supremacists identify various racial and cultural groups as their primary enemy.

      • Hmmm says:

        WOW Maddog, you really are an extremist. Name the white supremacists in Bermuda, I’ve never encountered any.

      • Hmmm says:

        See, another attempt to divide a people. Maddog has reworded press, lied and now does this. PLP are desperate, absolutely desperate.

  2. The Horse has Bolted from the Stable says:

    Regardless of political posturing here–the current situation is governed by the laws of Bermuda of which ALL parties must adhere.

    The current situation is a human rights issue.

    How the current legislation lives into the future is a different matter. That can be debated in the House.

    Rights conferred under law should not be seized–This may not be perceived as an optimal outcome by some–but to disreagrd the law of the land is dangerous territory.

    Shame on anyone for trying to portray it otherwise.

  3. cromwell says:

    His views are the problem not the solution.

    Everything he says and the words he uses as a representative of the PLP is making more confusion.

    If the PLP would be returned to power do you think they would continue to ask all those questions. No, they would declare the discussion ended and leave us with a bigger more difficult long term discrimination and human rights abuse system that would be condemned by most of the liberal thinking people of the world.

    They the PLP do not have a policy that would fairly treat the thousands (their figures) of people on this island. Their PRC policy has been a failure.

    This is a disaster waiting to happen under the OBA or the PLP.

  4. Concerned Bermudian says:

    Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, Catch a liar by the toe. What is it this week PLP? Why are you back on top of politics? I thought you were all still Occupying Government House. Guess that got you no where so we’re on to dragging this issue out until its dry.

    • Black Soil says:

      3 years from now the PLP will be taking the credit for the PRC’s, saying it was their legislation which “paved the way” for them being welcomed into the fold. The PLP cannot understand that they are on the wrong side of history. People sense this, and they will vote accordingly.

      • sonso says:

        I hope so!

        • hmmm says:

          PLP granting status to PRC’s is a red line that will not be crossed !!!!!! Hmmmmmmm seemed to be singing from a different songbook now.

          Seem a little confused there.

          I wonder what it’ll be next week.

          • Ringmaster says:

            Depends on who is the Leader of the Opposition. There seems to be at least 2 at the moment, with 2 different “PLP positions”. Very confusing to us, and must be even more so for the PLP and their crowd of marchers.

  5. Unbelievable says:

    Mr. Brown, if the PLP feels that PRCs should get status, why don’t you tell your colleagues and followers to stop twisting the truth? And to also stop making PRCs to be these people who come to Bermuda and try to disrupt Bermudians’ lives.

    Why don’t you do that?

  6. Hmmm says:

    Brown, you don’t want them to have status. Tell the truth, all this fluff and flapping really gets no clearer a message.

    Reform…yadda yadda BS. At the end of that, they’ll get status or not???????? If yes, then why mess them around PLP.

    The reform can come after this round or PRCs. These folks are already here and have been doing a huge amount for Bermuda since before 1989.

  7. GoodIdeaBadIdea says:

    But the horse has already bolted. Reform is a great idea; there are lots who deserve status who don’t have it due to this ancient set of laws. So what is the issue? PRCs will be the first out of the blocks to get status even if reform is introduced, they are by far the largest group and among the longest status-less people on the island.

    Do you mean to say that with immigration reform only some PRCs who apply will get status? Is that fair considering the current opportunity? How do we say who gets it and who doesn’t? To apply you have to be a PRC, here before 1989, be naturalized, and have been normally resident in Bermuda without a criminal record. What other criteria shall we apply?

    What about those who have already applied? Should we yank the carpet out from under them and say “maybe in a couple years when we can figure this mess out?”

    Just give it to those who apply, work on reforms and maybe close the window in the future to those who don’t apply by the deadline. There aren’t going to be 1455 new status holders coming. To say that 100% of people will apply is a bit abitious to say the least. I’m sure that some PRCs due to personal or professional reasons may choose to remain PRC only.

    At this point I’m sure that some PRCs are afraid of applying due to the fact that they may be “outed” when their names are published in the paper and will forever be known as “loophole Bermudians” rather than “paper Bermudians”.

  8. Chaos Theory says:

    “We call for a suspension of the discretionary grant of Bermuda status under Section 20B…”

    I can see the spin in that phrase alone. There is no discretion for the minister here, the provision is mandatory if the qualifications are met and applications made.

    But I think the PLP want the population to think that the OBA is manipulating the granting of status here.

    • The Law is the Law says:

      The horse has bolted from stable on this one.

      We must follow the letter of the law now.

      If the law needs revision–then perhaps HM Opposition would like to return to the House and Senate and work with the Gvt to clarify and modernize immigration legislation.

      I would venture a guess that this approach would be far more productive than marching and having deomstrators spit hateful and insulting rhetoric.

      To a right that is extended under law is a dangeous and slippery slope which either party should be very weary about going down.

      This topic is now defunct–move on to the business of the country that will put people back to work.

      Have a Blessed Cup Match (Go St. Georges)!!!!!

  9. Joonya says:

    Sylvan Richards wrote a very straight forward article today which was easily understood.
    Reminded me of Sunday night while listening to Court Radio, when a listener called in and addressed gave 3 questions to Fahy and Richards.
    Larry asked the man if he understood the real issue, and this so called “loophole”. The man went silent.
    Larry explained it in a very matter-of-fact way much so like Sylvan’s article, then again asked the man if he now understood. Silence again. Then the man fumbled on his words and said “well I’ve given you my 3 questions and I’m gonna hangup now and listen.
    This is the problem. Some folks are allowing organizations like PLP, BIU, PC to get them all wound up on emotion and conveniently avoiding the FACTS.
    Laverne was totally wound up, I thought she was gonna start hyperventilating..

  10. Blue Familiar says:

    I don’t think anyone disagrees the immigration reform is necessary, however there is a law presently in place that we can’t exactly pretend doesn’t exist or rescind retroactively.

    How about you all, OBA and PLP alike, sit down together and work out a policy going forward that everyone can agree with?

    There’s no point going on about something that can’t be changed.

    • Justice! says:

      Blue Familiar: “How about you all, OBA and PLP alike, sit down together and work out a policy going forward that everyone can agree with?”

      Dunkley wouldn’t hear of that recommendation/suggestion. He is not a principled being. The dictatorial, unreasonable OBA are leading this island into chaos. Mark my words.

      • Hmmm says:

        Hardly. We were led into chaos by the PLP and their failed economics.

        The OBA are working hard to get us out from the PLP chaos.

  11. Terry says:

    Define “assess the interest of affected persons”.

    From all you have written and spoken over the years I am sure you refer to black people.

    • Hmmm says:

      Walton is all about Walton. Once you have met him that becomes abundantly clear.

  12. Roots rock says:

    The PLP want power at any costs! Even if those they say the represent, suffer more.Give those PRC holders with 25+ Yrs here status. That is one way that might help the suffering.

  13. DH says:

    Well why in your 14 years did you A) create the loophole. B) not do anything about it, and C) find the need to re draw boundaries for political constituencies?

    • Terry says:

      Because they gave out to people that would vote for them.
      We had to deceive you.

  14. Statutory Rights says:

    The grant of Status is not ‘discretionary’; it is written into the law. If a qualifying PRC holder proves that they have complied with all requirements of the law then they have the *right* to Status that cannot be reasonably refused.

    The Chief Justice did not write the law, he simply removed the element that made it a Catch-22 situation and thus made it workable.

    The government is obliged to comply with the law as passed by the government of the time.

  15. They're not discretionary says:

    Those grants are required as a matter of law.

    • Onion says:

      Woah, don’t let reality get in the way of a good story!

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      The law does not grant them status, it grants them right to apply, and if their application qualifies, they can be granted status. The courts did not create a pathway for them to apply, it was not a judge’s ruling that created this provision, the Chief Justice just up held the legal provision that was put in place for pre-1989 PRC’s to be able to apply. They now have to follow the same application process as any other eligible applicant would, so there is no ambiguity to the process they have to follow.
      Reform is indeed needed, but as there is a law in place granting the first (and most eligible PRC’s) status, there is no reasonable argument as to why their applications should be further with held. The reform can focus on the PRCs’ children and remaining PRC’s, and if and how we would proceed with status for them going forward. A reform that would update our immigration policy for future generations. The reform, that according to Mr. Brown, was the PLP’s intent when they legislated the 2001 policy, but seemed to have forgot about it for 11 years.
      Mr. Brown seems to not only still be intent on distorting the facts, but the PLP’s recent history towards this issue, and is certainly be far more disingenuous about this affair than he can accuse the OBA of being.

      • Wrong says:

        But that’s your choice.

        It does not allow them the ability to “apply”. It gives them a right of Status.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          You have been misinformed, to get status they must first apply, should their application not be acceptable due to reference misrepresentation or criminal background, they can be refused. The only people that the law grant status to, outright, are ‘birthright’ Bermudians.

  16. The opposition has the right to oppose. The government has the right to govern. Know your rights and respect the govt.
    Grow up. You lost the election and have quite some time until the next one. Let it go. PLP all the way but not blind.

  17. rivaldo10 says:

    Its d holiday …shut up and relax

    • sonso says:

      Ya, im waiting for Butch and Tweed to round up the masses from Cupmatch, camp sites and the boating world to go marching in town again. I am waiting!! 7 days right?! HAHA!

  18. Onion says:

    Walton Brown needs to talk to his Party Leader because none of this statement resembles what Bean was saying on the radio the other day.

    • Creamy says:

      It’s all part of the backpedalling. Whenever they “reiterate” their position they’re actually changing it.

  19. Beautiful Bermudian Witch says:

    the plp do not represent me,I wish you would all go away and the party fold up,you have damaged my Island Home and I will never forgive you.

    • Justice! says:

      Beautiful Bermudian Witch: “the plp do not represent me,I wish you would all go away and the party fold up,you have damaged my Island Home and I will never forgive you.”

      Wait until you see what comes down the pipeline from the OBA and I hope you are going to survive it so that you may compare the two parties.

      urc stfu!

  20. animallover says:

    Take a break PLP, have a drink put your feet up, then get the heck back to work on Monday. If not, you are letting the OBA do all the work with no Opposition, too bad, so sad!

  21. Make up your mind says:

    “…our view is that policy changes should be the express will of the people through their elected representatives…”

    Guess what, Walton, a recent survey showed that the majority of the public supported the granting of status, hence it is the will of the people.
    And the OBA is in the House as they were elected by a majority vote, making them the representatives.

    Just because you and your party lost and are now the minority does not give you the right to throw your toys out the cot every time you hear something you don’t like… especially when it was you that put the rule into place to begin with.

  22. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    It is rather funny that how Mr. Brown fails to mention how it was the PLP committing most of the distortion, and now that they have been called out on their misinformation, they are back pedalling.
    Granting PRC’s status will take away job opportunities from ‘birthright’ Bermudians… a lie as they already hold jobs and compete in the job market at an equal level.
    Granting PRC’s status will take away property opportunities from ‘birthright’ Bermudians… a distortion, as the OBA have already highlighted, the PLP’s own white paper shoots holes in this
    At one point some of them were even claiming that granting PRC’s status will take away education opportunities from Bermudians… a lie, they are already in our schools.
    And finally their position now contradicts their very actions from when they the put a provision in their 2001 legislation that created an avenue for PRC’s to apply for status. It also contradicts their lack of action when these cases came up under their administration.
    In the end, those that are eligible to apply for status have been our neighbours, friends, coworkers and extended family for decades now and are entitled to have a right to a voice in how our future plays out in this country and it is extremely disingenuous when the PLP say that the OBA’s bad faith on this matter is rooted in political consideration, when they have shown even worse faith in pursuit of their own political ambitions on this matter. I suppose maybe they think some of us have forgotten the divisive and racial rhetoric they employed at their ‘town hall’ meetings.

  23. Enforcer says:

    The sad thing is that while the PRC issue gets air time, local companies continue to sell out to foreign investors. Who owns BTC now?

    • Come Correct says:

      Keytech does, nothing has been finalized nor has it been approved by the RA.

    • New Perspective says:

      Nice to know someone is really awake! You’ve noticed that too!!

  24. Alvin Williams says:

    Big mistake the PLP made with this PRC issue ; and they went along with this policy in the face of great opposition by it’s own supporters . I was to some of those meetings and I saw the opposition.
    And look what it has got us, nothing but derisive opinion from some of the very same people who stood to gain the most from it.
    Never again if our political leaders go down a path that is clearly not in our interests; than we are going to have to deal with them.
    I am one who is glad to see a new PLP and I hope that they have learn their lesson. We now require a tough leadership in the struggle we have to wage to liberate our country.

    • Unbelievable says:

      My God, Alvin, what are you even talking about?

      Liberate? From who?

    • Don’t need a”new PLP” Need a pre 2005 PLP.

    • Terry says:

      Long live the Black Beret Cadre Alvin.
      You were a member.

    • Hmmm says:

      The PLP is lost. It’s all about power and politics trying to divide a people.

    • Justice! says:

      I’m with you Bro. Alvin. It isn’t difficult to see who occupies the opposers corner. Those same beings are the reason why Bermuda and the rest of the world are in a sorry state.

  25. Unbelievable says:

    Mr. Brown, if the PLP feels that PRCs should get status, why don’t you tell your colleagues and followers to stop twisting the truth? And to also stop making PRCs to be these people who come to Bermuda and try to disrupt Bermudians’ lives.

    Why don’t you do that?

  26. Beautiful Bermudian Witch says:

    and there you have it,the TRUTH!
    perhaps now all these people can stop their nonsense on this Island.
    Alvin has spoken so it must be the TRUTH……..Right?

  27. aceboy says:

    What “new” PLP?

    Same people, same nonsense.

    Nothing new about these guys at all.

  28. in the know says:

    And yet the plp leader marc bean & Walton brown both stood up in the Hoa and said giving status to prcs is a red line that will not be crossed. Now Walton is changing his tune….
    Walton brown were you lying then or are you lying Now????

  29. serz doe says:

    Honestly Walton give it a break. We all know you don’t want PRC’s getting their status and you won’t stop until you see that day.

    Please tell your party and your 500 diehard, xenaphonic and some racist (I understand not all are) followers to give it a rest for the holiday so we can all get drunk together and party as one whole Bermuda again,

    P.s. St Geo all day!!!!!!!!!!

  30. JH says:

    Alvin I have to tip my hat to you. This is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to PLP admitting they screwed up, and actually taking responsibility for their own actions.

    Sincere congratulations sir, for seeing it as it is.

  31. Walton Brown and the others from the Progressive Labour Party are like Chameleons, (changing their stance / colours)depending upon what type surface they’re on :-(

    • Sandgrownan says:

      They’ve overplayed their hand a little bit with this one – notwithstanding the ugly rhetoric that they have whipped up – are now looking simply foolish as they try to recover some sort credibility and backtrack.

  32. JH says:

    If Mr Brown would stop and be honest for one single solitary second, he would have to admit that this is all about votes.

    It has been said that the PRCs are almost completely white and will therefore vote OBA.

    The truth is, they will vote OBA yes – but it is because PLP completely alienated them and continues to do so instead of attracting these new potential voters.

    Huge huge mistake on PLP’s part. Idiocy is rampant in that party.

    One more thing” it isn’t a LOO-POYAL. It is the LAW!

    • Hmmm says:

      This is why they are trying to be PRC to Status friendly. Bet it’s tearing them apart that they made a huge political blunder.

      I still want to know how many folks they brought into Bermuda under the cover of night using the discretionary approach Walton refers to? We know of 4 already.

  33. serengeti says:

    What other laws and legal rights would be “suspended” if the PLP ever got power again? I’d just like to know what kind of rights they would arbitrarily “suspend” if it became politically convenient for them.

  34. e says:

    “We oppose the granting of status based on a judgement by the Chief Justice since our view is that policy changes should be the express will of the people through their elected representatives and not a court decision.”

    Great. In the meantime, teach your advocates how to draft properly and get those elected representatives to show up on the hill instead of gallivanting around town with like minds.

  35. Coffee says:

    This government is acting irresponsibly on not only the problem of the PRC’s but also and let’s not forget BACKGATE !

  36. cromwell says:

    I have a question about double standards in the procedural issuing the Grant of Status about passing a criminal record check.

    How can we have a convicted felon Mr. Rolfe Commissiong (or for that matter Shawn Crockwell of the OBA) who went to prison for armed robbery and shooting a gun sit in the House of Assembly MP for the PLP and not allow some one with a criminal conviction get Status?

    Isn’t that a double standard?

    Who will give final approval to the person getting Status?

  37. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    what is it with all these Browns..? is this the BLP or what? hahaha!

  38. James says:

    One thing people seem to have missed is that a lot of PRC’s own business’s and employ Bermudians!

  39. Alvin Williams says:

    Terry I was never a member of the Black Beret Cadre; I was a member of the PLP youth wing; the militant youth group that the black Berets moved out. I stayed with the PLP youth wing out of loyalty; but supported actions of the Berets like many of my generation who were part of the black power revolt that took place in this country
    If any one thinks I am going to duck that or apologize or have feelings of regret for my involvement; than you would be sadly mistaken.
    I have no such regrets any more for the years I work on PLP election campaigns for all those years when they did not win the election or for all the times I like many other Bermudians were in Bermuda’s labour wars on the picket lines-The struggle continues.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Poor misguided Alvin. It is 2014. Long ago the world passed you by. Instead of worrying about being part of this race or that race others concentrated on being part of the human race & treated each other based on how others treated them.

      So sad that some have lived their lives in hate & bitterness & will go to their graves that way.

    • Hmmm says:

      Alvin, the struggle is against yourself. An internal struggle. The world ain’t fighting you, it’s yourself v you.