Walter Roban Urges OBA To Withdraw Proposal

February 18, 2016

“For the sake of stability we urge the OBA to withdraw this objectionable policy proposal,” as “the unendorsed actions of the OBA” will only serve to “increase the tensions in Bermuda” which are “rapidly approaching their boiling point,” Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban said today.

Planned Immigration Changes

The Government recently announced they plan to amend the law, with changes to include any person who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 15 years becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency, and any permanent resident who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 20 years becoming eligible to apply for Bermudian status.

Meeting Shut Down

Mr Roban was speaking after the immigration information session was shut down last night due to protesters shouting “no to immigration reform” and “no, no, no” for almost 20 minutes.

Minister Fahy’s Comments

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Fahy said, “It’s a real shame that the meeting descended into what it descended into. We came tonight to present data, present human stories of how the pathways to citizenship through status and PRC would affect not just people here, but affect the Bermudian economy and the like.

“What we witnessed tonight was an absolute shame, in that the majority of people that came tonight wanted to hear what the Government had to say, and take a position, and hear whether or not this was something that they wanted to support or not.

“A minority of people — there was maybe 16 or 17 people — stood at the front and did a deliberate anti-democratic move to shout down a presentation for the community to hear. It does not, in my view, represent the wider sentiment in community to get information about what we believe is the right way forward for Bermuda.

“It will not stop us from trying to get that information out in a manner that we deem now to be appropriate, but what I believe is also happening here is that there is an orchestration that is taking place by some, and possibly being led by a member of the Opposition who has made calls for civil disobedience.”

Shadow Minister Walter Roban’s Comments

Mr Roban said, “After the protest, Minister Fahy stated that the citizens were ‘not representative of the wider community who support these reforms’.

“Prior to the last General Election, the OBA pledged that they would not grant status to long term residents. If the OBA wishes to reverse their position on such a major issue then it is their duty to receive the clearly expressed will of the people for their actions via a General Election.

“If Minister Fahy and Minister Moniz are certain that the ‘wider community’ support the blanket granting of status proposed by him and Minister Moniz then we challenge the Premier of this country to seek the mandate of the people for this actions of his government.

“If Premier Dunkley is unwilling or unable to go to the people, for the sake of stability we urge the OBA to withdraw this objectionable policy proposal.

“There are reforms to immigration policy to which most Bermudians can agree, but the unendorsed actions of the OBA on this issue will only serve to increase the tensions in Bermuda which due to a multitude of issues are rapidly approaching their boiling point.”

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Comments (118)

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  1. Lois Frederick says:

    A Government does not withdraw their proposals because of 30 people max highjacking a public meeting. OBA need to strategically adjust their public engagement accordingly and proceed. Get the information out to the general public by using other methods.

    • IslandTeacher says:

      Walter Roban Urges OBA To Withdraw Proposal, but makes no reference to the Supreme Court ruling that has changed the way the immigration Act has to be interpreted. As a legislator, he should have acknowledged this fact.

      • Really Really BETTTY says:

        Believe me those 30 people stand with thousands. …..

        The movement is larger than you want to accept. …..

        Thanks Roban

        PEOPLE Power Standing together. …

        • Immigrant says:

          Small, simple minded! No concept of the future for bermuda!

          • mixitup says:

            And these^^^^ are these people you think we want on our shores? I’d LOVE to see you say that on the steps of city hall, I’ll even give you a bull horn.

        • Lois Frederick says:

          Of course there are many that sympathise with the protestors, but even more people, the silent majority, want the Govt. to fix long standing Immigration issues facing Bermuda.

          • The Original Truth says:

            Fix Immigration pathways with PRCs not pathways for permit workers.

            You are supporting a lie Lois. OBA had all permit workers sign a contract that confirms their understanding of their permit. Their permit says nothing about pathways. They are piggybacking one path on another.

            OBA’s plan is sloppy, amateurish without any science to it. Show me a well developed nations immigration path. Not from some lawyers site who’s trying to make a buck off immigrants but the countries genuine immigration site. Guaranteed it will be fair more detailed with more stipulations.

            Here’s some science for you. Bermuda’s population density is higher than Bangladesh. We have a 7% unemployment rate. If you add to an already unsustainable population it just becomes more unsustainable.

            • OnionX says:

              Well…you come up with a plan, instead of complaining. Also, don’t compare it to scientific process…because it’s totally different. Instead, go for the democratic one, where people discuss and negotiate a compromise and not hold up the process. You using scientific data to get your point across are a moot point, because people use scientific data to support their outlandish views all the time. The opposition needs to come up with a plan and present it to the current government and so far, all their plans to say ‘NO’. Come up with a suitable counter plan and let the democratic process continue. The previous government had 14 years to get a plan for immigration reform together and when they are finally presented one, all they do is complain. GET A PLAN TOGETHER – show a plan and let the democratic process take place. By the way, Bangladesh has 153,546,901 people with an unemployment rate of 4.5%, their population is not unsustainable and scientifically if you compare it to Bermuda, you can say the more people we have the more jobs there is…..see what I did there?

              • The Original Truth says:

                There’s a difference between population density and population but I guess that will go over your head as well if you think Bangladesh is sustainable. 26% live below poverty line and they have a 48% child malnutrition rate.

                Use a democratic one instead of scientific? How dense can you be! Democracy is a made up ideal while science is a search for FACTS.

                “people use scientific data to support their outlandish views all the time.” Like who? Einstein? Aristotle? Archimedes? Newton? Marie Curie? Oh yes! We’d be a lot better without them. Because you are a freakin genius.

              • mj says:

                there is not a place in the earth that can be compared to Bermuda!PERIOD.

            • Chateau le Roof says:

              If you are going to make comparisons, perhaps try like with like. You can not compare Bangladesh with Bermuda. The proposed immigration law applies to people who have been here for more than a decade and have been paying rent, buying groceries, purchasing transport on buses and ferries, along with other day to day expenses that fuel the economy. They are established in jobs, not applying for new ones.

              By the way, have you checked job listings in the paper lately? One of the hotels is looking to fill jobs in all aspects of it’s operation, and I am sure there are Bermudians among the 7% that you mentioned that could be gainfully employed, if they make the effort to apply.

            • Sabrina says:

              What you don’t understand (or just choose not to) is that you are not adding to an unsustainable population – these people are already a part of the population!

              • The Original Truth says:

                They are part of the population that Bermuda’s government is not obligated to sustain. Millions gets put aside yearly in financial assistance for the part that the government is obligated to sustain. The whole end game of OBA is to increase an already unsustainable population without even looking at means to help those of the 7% to become sustainable. Helping the 7% increases our sustainability. OBA doesn’t need to send everyone packing but they need to start making a real effort to send the ones back who should go. OBA lies to it’s citizens about making that effort but in the house they are held to the truth by law. The problem is many do not pay attention to what goes on in the house and PLP is too daft to pick up on key points to properly debate them. Sometimes the opposition has great questions but when they get the answer they don’t know how to rebut it.

                Q1. Will the Honourable Junior Minister please inform this Honourable House of the number of random checks performed by Department of Immigration compliance officers at places of employment by job category to ensure employers are in compliance with work permit policy and laws for the period 1 January 2015 to 15 May 2015?

                A1.
                Due to limited human resources, there have been no random checks by the Compliance Officers of the Department of Immigration during the period 1 January, 2015 to 15 May, 2015.

                Q2.
                Will the Honourable Junior Minister please inform this Honourable House of the number of work permit violations the Department of Immigration has documented for the period 1 January, 2015 to 15 May, 2015?

                A2.
                The Chief Immigration Officer is responsible for determining whether a work permit violation has occurred or not. During the period 1 January, 2015 to 15 May, 2015, two (2) work permit violations have been documented. However, the Department can confirm that there are presently 21 civil penalty cases active.

                As mentioned before OBA had all permit workers sign a contract that confirms their understanding of their permit. Their permit says nothing about pathways.

        • john says:

          Suggesting that the 30 plus individuals represent thousands might in fact be accurate. My suggestion would be that those thousands show up at the next scheduled meeting. Then and only then will the OBA ponder a different stance. Otherwise, in my opinion, it comes across to many as a political stunt by the PLP and some of their diehard loyalists. Encourage these thousands you speak of to turn up and then it will send a much stronger message.

        • Corvus Bermie says:

          The PLP stands for equal rights for themselves and nobody else.

        • Cow Polly says:

          Believe you Bettty? LMFAO

    • Tolerate says:

      “For the sake of stability we urge the OBA to withdraw this objectionable policy proposal,” as “the unendorsed actions of the OBA” will only serve to “increase the tensions in Bermuda” which are “rapidly approaching their boiling point,” Shadow Minister of Home Affairs Walter Roban said today.
      Sorry; that’s as far as I got. This guy is a joke. First it was your brother in arms that promoted instability, now you suggest withdrawing for the minority (in number so don’t all jump at once).
      Go sit down with the rest and allow the Minister to present his case. IF after that you still are not happy “GO FOR IT”….
      Who stops a meeting prior to the presentation? You are looking for support right? So let the rest of us hear the presentation and decide.
      Ohhhhh, that’s the kicker; you don’t want people to make their own decision; you just want to tell them what to think.

    • lowe says:

      The OBA ignore the people. Is this democracy? Far from it. The OBA are messing up. This is becoming entertaining. They break promise after promise, and deliberately do things without much thought.

    • Sabrina says:

      What the OBA needs to do is call-out the PLP. They are going on about Immigration reform. CALL THEM OUT. Ask them to clearly state what they mean. What they want to see for their country. Filibustering – that is all they are doing.

  2. planeasday says:

    Where is the leader of our country? Seriously…Will the real Michael Dunkley please stand up? Or has his silence spoken volumes as to who controls the reigns of this wagon that is veering rapidly off course…

    • Zevon says:

      There were three government ministers there last night and you weren’t interested in listening. What has changed?

      • @ Zevon, you are absolutely correct…That group of “people” were like “a dog chasing it’s tail” :-(

      • @ Zevon, NO GET IT CORRECT! We have so called leaders who do not and will not listen to the electorate.

        • hmmm says:

          They are called the PLP….They say what they think you want to hear…..not what you need to hear.

          Hence the Debt !

          Fools follow the PLP, all the way to obscurity.

          • lowe says:

            Fools and idiots follow the OBA. OBS is a party who’s only strategy is to blame the PLP.

        • serengeti says:

          Zevon is right. You don’t want to listen.

        • HolyMoley says:

          They came out and tried to have a discussion but a small group shut the meeting down to prevent the dissemination of any information.

          Who is not listening here?

          Looks like it’s the PLP, afraid that facts and reality might obscure the public’s view into their fantasy world. The world where all this trouble is not their fault. The world where they do not have anything to answer for.

      • planeasday says:

        You know nothing of me sir/madam. I was not part of the mob that upset this presentation. But to have an un-elected appointee spearheading an issue of such dire consequence does not sit well with me – that it does with you is concerning…

    • @ planeasday, The real leader is standing up, they got his first name right, it is Michael, but due to technical difficulties they got the last name incorrect,(Dunkley). The Leaders correct last name is Fahy.

      • Come Correct says:

        You truly are a dream boat. All I have to offer. Remember that time I called you out on your posts? One all for UBP and within days all for plp? Your response was that you liked people analyse things like that. So who is paying you buddy? You still post as if you even remotely have any credibility or substance after that. What changed Duane? I’m interested to know what could make a person so fikel. They say opinion is the lowest form of intelligence, but I believe supporting one particular political party is just that. They’re all self serving. Who will serve you best? We all already know the plp drove this island into the ground. What I find the saddest is you switched your position when the plp were at their worst. People may say the “plp rein of terror” but the reality is they did good until 2008. Who paid you buddy?

      • Ringmaster says:

        Maybe you can inform the people who is the leader of the PLP. Is it Marc I won’t collaborate Bean; Walton I want civil disobedience Brown or Walton drop everything because 15 people create a noise Roban?

  3. JD says:

    “There are reforms to immigration policy to which most Bermudians can agree”

    And what exactly are these reforms Mr. Roban?

    • Ringmaster says:

      Exactly. The PLP have all the opportunities to put their own “comprehensive reform” ideas out in the open, but choose to stay silent. Clearly they have none and want the existing out of date laws which are in contravention of the Human Rights Act to remain. Get out of the 1960′s mindset and into the 2010′s. The world has moved on. The majority of younger Bermudians (compared to the protesters last night) are multiracial or multiracial in thought and actions and mix without fear or hatred.

  4. The PURGE says:

    I urge you to ZIP IT Walter. Status will be granted. Bermudians have taken this beautiful Island for granted.

    • hmmm says:

      Walter and Roban need to condemn people for intentionally ruining a session aimed at providing information for the people. The PLP members involved need to resign from their positions in the party….

      YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

      It is disgusting….There were well known members of the PLP shouting out…The PLP ARE A DISGRACE !

    • The Original Truth says:

      Go to bed pookie, you’ve been watching to many late night movies on HBO again.

    • Trisha says:

      Why would this island welcome a cukoo person like you ?

    • Dominique says:

      You speak like a hater, you won’t get your status, Bermuda needs good citizens as we have had in the past years, I am sorry to say you don’ t qualify.

  5. Blind Sheep says:

    Oh go on with yourself. You had 14 years for reform

  6. Truth (Original) says:

    A few observations:

    - People who have lived, worked and contributed to the success of Bermuda for 15-20 years should be granted PRC status / citizenship. It’s just the right thing to do.

    - Walter Roban is the one fanning flames to an uninformed electorate and then calls for the Government to capitulate. Ewart never capitulated and he had many moments of uprising. He governed as he saw fit and Roban was in full support of the disaster.

    - These people are our friends and neighbors. They aren’t stealing anything from Bermuda or Bermudians. They have been a benefit to us and hopefully, will continue to be a benefit to us long into the future.

    - Speaking economically, many of these individuals will not invest in Bermuda unless they have some security. That only makes sense. There is a direct benefit to be had by locking in the intellectual capital and physical capital through citizenship.

    - Playing on the fears and prejudices of others is just the worst kind of politics. It comes from weak and pathetic leaders that are bereft of any idea of substance. It is the only PLP strategy and it is very effective. If my people would only read, analyze and think for themselves, we could avoid the shameful scenes that were on display at that town hall meeting.

    • Really Really BETTTY says:

      OBA Script. ….please

      • Truth (Original) says:

        LOL !! If that was “OBA script” then they are speaking the truth.

        Care to address any of the above?

        I thought not.

        Lots of hot air, no substance.

        Hey ! You aren’t Roban are you?

        • The Original Truth says:

          I’ll address the first.

          15-20 years as EVERYONE knows were years of failure for Bermuda not success. There was nothing contributed to.

          That’s The Original Truth™ not the backwards way around.

          The PLP failed in every way possible even in who to grant permits to. If your going to point out all failures and stop cherry picking.

      • 32n64w says:

        Refute the points with facts Betty. Bermuda dares you to be honest b

    • Alex shrubb says:

      Well said.

  7. Sage says:

    PLP’s proposal #1:- round up all non PLP supporters and make them wear big WHITE bull’s eyes.

  8. Still Laughing says:

    With all due respect, what happened last night was way out of order and blatantly disrespectful. Where I am a staunch supporter of the right to one’s opinion and the ability to express himself, the very least those people should have heard what the minister had to say THEN, question what they have concerns over. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the tables were turned and such a display happened at Alaska Hall – all hell would have broken loose! I’m sorry, but this reaction, which has happened on a number of occasions, seriously diminishes your credibility and makes one question your real willingness to find a mutual agreement.

    • Rich-AteVanessa, says:

      Oh we know what he was going to say but he didn’t right.

  9. jt says:

    So every time 20 people kick up a stink proposed legislation is to be withdrawn.
    We’ll be permanently in park once that precedent is set.
    Get it done. Same with SSM. Same with weed. Same with the airport. Same with commission of enquiry. Same with anything else you think moves us forward. That is why you were elected. Live or die by your rests come next election.

  10. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Walter…you of all people should know that everybody here came from somewhere. Status has been granted to many down the line.

  11. IslandTeacher says:

    “the unendorsed actions”.

    The OBA won the election and the right to table legislation.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      A Mandate. They hate that word.

    • Give it a Rest says:

      They won an election saying they wouldn’t grant status. They do not have a mandate to grant it, they have a mandate to NOT grant it.

      • Lois Frederick says:

        They have a mandate to fix Bermuda’s ailing economy and this is part of that effort. Also, Fahy has talked about the countless cases he has dealt with, of people that are caught in no man’s land with the current immigration laws. This is something the majority of Bermudians want to be addressed in a fair way and they are doing it.

      • rich says:

        They never said they would not grant status. Part of this is also in reaction to the CJs ruling in Carne and Correia.

  12. aceboy says:

    I hope your “people” get arrested and the politicians who incite them as well.

    I urge Roban to come out and say that what these people did was wrong…the people of this island will not be bullied into anything any longer.

  13. San George says:

    Fair weather immigrants. Let’s see what happens when the kitchen heats up. We on the other hand have no where to go. Our elderly can’t go back to Canada, the U.S., the Azores etc. This place has not hit the bottom yet.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

  14. BERMUDA FOR ALL says:

    ROBAN. W. Go take a long walk off a short pier, you choose your words to CREATE so called boiling point and create tensions. Come to my neighborhood for some boiling tension on your parties DIVISIVE and dare I say racial point of view created to get power back for another reign of terror. GFO As a side note didn’t your party change boundaries for political gain, not that this issue has anything to dos with race and politics other than to KEEP this island somewhat afloat.

  15. steve says:

    Yes Mr Roban, tell how we think tell us we wont stand for it tell us how we are going to run riot… and dont let Fahy speak as he might help people understand and some may even agree.I havent formed an opinion as I was waiting to hear details from fahy but do to last nights cancellation I remain somewhat ignorant.At least I know it,how about you?

  16. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    The O.B.A. wants the people to suffer silently,keep your mouth shut while we sock it to you.Fahy and the rest of the O.B.A./can just Fade away into the darkness and we will not miss you.Got along before we met you,gonna get along without you now.Peace.

    • Ironman says:

      Ya, because the PLP performed really well didn’t they!?!? Climb back under your rock.

      • Trisha says:

        Enough is enough, plp this,plp that, you are like children, that is not going to help us, we need to get together, Bermudians need to be priority, our jobs are compromised, and I do not talk for all expats but only for those who possess an occupation that a Bermudian is entitled but because the employer who is probably racist avoid to hire and the goes for both colors.

        • Think About It says:

          This is complete BS! No employer would hire an expat if there was a Bermudian waiting to fill the spot, and that Bermudian was just as desirable. Saying that decision is based on skin colour, makes you an idiot, a knave, or more likely, a liar. You are only saying these things to gain political power based on false information.

    • jt says:

      Got along right into a big pile of steaming doo.

  17. Bully Beef says:

    Seriously? PLP stooges were organized to act beastly in a Church Hall. Only the PLP will use these tactics to embarrass the government and supress the truth. By hijacking the immigration plan they think this will damage the economy and increase unemployment. At the election, they hope to blame the government on poor performance.

    In most places these rude people would have been removed by security or Police. They had no permit to protest in a public information meeting. Blame them when the Government moves ahead without anymore town hall fiascos.

  18. Alicia says:

    So, let me see if I’ve got this… If I moved to Bermuda at the age of 25 and made this my residence and worked here for 15 years then at the age of 40 I could apply for my prc. And if I stay here after getting my prc and make this my residence for another 20 years then at the age of 60 I can apply for status….

    So what’s the issue??? If my interpretation of the regulations is correct then the people that this applies to is already well engrained into the bermudian culture and economy and in all rights this is their home.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      It would actually be another 5 years on top of the 15 years for PRC, so 20 years in total. In your example, you would be 45 years old to be eligible for status not 60.

      • Scadaffi says:

        I understand it to be 15 years for PRC then on top of this another 20 years for Status. In total 35 years.

        • Sabrina says:

          How can anyone know exactly when the minister was prevented from explaining.

  19. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    ‘Objectionable policy proposal’… I don’t object to it… in fact, the only people objecting seems to be the loud minority who don’t think anybody has the right to anything in this country, except those they consider to be the mythological ‘real bermudians’, and everyone else should just shut up and be kept as second class citizens in the country they have come to consider home.

  20. Lois Frederick says:

    Well we finally got to the nitty gritty of what the plp would do in terms of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Roban was on TV tonight. The answer – Pretty much nothing! No wonder they couldn’t give any details up till now, working that one out must have taken ages! I also heard him on the radio yesterday responding to a listener’s question about what the plp’s plans were. His uneasy response was stumbled and breathless, with about 5 or 6 points, or rather aspirations, all referring to protecting Bermudians rights. At least today he has given us the real intentions of his party. Now that’s real leadership.

  21. ALL 4 One One 4 All says:

    what was the percentage of RUDE OBNOXIOUS DISRESPECTFUL DOPY BLIND DEAF AND DUMB PLP mouthpieces as a number of people in the room. From film clips I suggest well under 25% and they DONT REPRESENT ME. Mr Roban your orchestrated ploy WILL NOT WORK. The silent majority shall speak again and NOT for this type of rubbish

  22. oba/ubp have squashed DEMOCRACY. After reading the comments, one is left with ….DEMOCRACY has failed in this small country.Voices MUST be heard. oba/ubp is sooo fixed on their policies, they have clearly not even considered that REAL PEOPLE do live on this island too.
    Their voices WILL NOT BE SHUT OUT. They will speak when they feel the need arises.
    As a matter of fact, where is THE GRAND MASTER……dunkley. He has orchestrated this fiasco to his delight and he isn’t even visible.
    When Patrice Parris won over him in his constituency, he wanted to withdraw from politics FOREVER. Certain of his voters encouraged him to re-enter the race. He did!This is what dunkley wanted to become premier for?
    One never knew that his HATE for the P.L.P.ran so deep. Shame on you…dunkley.Your type of DEMOCRACY FAILED!!!!!!!!

  23. Widget says:

    SERIOUSLY NOW. Withdraw for what reason? Because 50 Bermudian (small minority) object to this policy of allowing adults and children that have devoted there lives to this country. My God the children know no other world then Bermuda and you selfish people want them banished from Bermuda. Your discusting and selfish people. All about ME ME ME. Sad day in Bermuda.

    Go for it OBA, do the right thing and give these new Bermudians the opportunity to serve this beautiful country.surprisingly enough the ones with this big mouths do nothing but shoot off there big mouths.

  24. Widget says:

    I’m going to be following the group that is objecting to see what community services they do year in and year out. I bet only one or two actually do anything constructive. Let’s see how many show up for KBB day. I personally bet none will show up to help clean this beautiful country.

    Oh and PLEASE stop with this “it’s just a small little island crap. Just get you butt out and do something productive and stop this stupidity.

    • Hey!!To: WIDGET

      Community service over here. It has been going on for 3 years in this small, tiny, little island.
      So…. WIDGET….do not judge the book by the cover…..

  25. wahoo says:

    I would have expected Mr. Roban to have had harsh words for the gang of twelve who disrupted democracy…was this something he condones? If so he should say so.

    I think that the large majority of Bermuda is in favor of the reform.

  26. Confused says:

    Say it like you mean it Betty and Duane – you’ll only be happy when you’ve sunk the country below Third World status and there’s no way to get rid of your ignorant party.

  27. Cpt says:

    I thought the opposition leader of the senate said he actually supports giving status to children of foreigners if they are born here or come at a young age. See yesterday’s senate text. So, just seems like the sticking point is giving status to their parents. Please can the PLP formally state their position and how Bermuda can adhere to the court rulings?

  28. Jerry says:

    Is Mr Roban aware that Bermuda has a population of 70,000 ? A bunch of rent a mobbers is not a reason to make a permanent decision on a temporary emotions

  29. Truth says:

    Let’s be honest….PLP are only worried that if these immigration changes take place the vote will swing completely in the OBA’s favour and probably never to be overturned.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      And the plp would be better for that. They would be forced to appeal to the broader electorate and moderate their tone. Politics will have matured to another level. I look forward to that day.

  30. Sabrina says:

    Lets forget about it being the “right thing to do” for PRCs. It’s the right thing to do for BERMUDA.

    These people are already here. These people pay payroll tax, social Ins, health ins, buy groceries and other products and rent homes. If we continue to deny status to these people, they can easily decide enough is enough and leave.

    What then. Less people paying payroll tax, social Ins, health ins and renting homes. Who does that hurt? BERMUDIANS. There will be less money coming into government coffers (will have to borrow even more), less people paying into social insurance (how will pensions get paid if there are less and less contributions), less people paying health ins (this will cause insurance to increase even higher as there are less people putting into the pool) and there will be less people to rent out all those homes and apts. etc.

    Stop being blinded by the propaganda on how granting status is bad for Bermudians and start thinking about what happens when these people GO.

    And PLP – your only real concern is that these people will vote and you assume that they will vote OBA. Well is it any surprise with the way you are behaving. Try acting like a party that if voted into government will act in the best interests of all of Bermuda. Run on policies. Maybe you would get their votes.

    • Rich-AteVanessa, says:

      Ohh but I don’t need to pay the payroll cause I have a temporary work contract

    • Here! Here! says:

      Well said, Sabrina! Wish everyone could pause, get the facts and see the big picture. It is the right thing to do for our country.

  31. Mr. Smith says:

    This is just a way to keep OBA in long term power by having more supporters/voters than the current voting population. Currently, with 60%+ black and possible PLP supporters, the OBA has a disadvantage. Sure they can claim all sorts of rhetoric but the the reality is, significant PLP supporters didn’t vote in the last election, whereas OBA supporters did in droves – so, TADA.

    With this immigration reform, the OBA automatically sustains power… – If a party gave you status, you’d likely vote for them.

    Unfortunately, island resources are limited so the only way to accommodate the reform is to raise prices. High school economics. Great for the privileged, but awful for the masses.

    I say this matter should go through a referendum and allow the voting public to decide the future of this country rather than the sneaky politicians/opportunists. By the way, what happened to the promises of using referendums that won the OBA election?

    • Widget says:

      @mr. Smith?????

      Whatcha Smoken man.

    • 32n64w says:

      Please reference your source which identifies the racial composition of the affected parties and also their presupposed voting habits. If you can’t or won’t, retract your racist observation.

    • Mr. Smith sir, just stop for a moment and count the amount of people that have or are eligible to apply for Bermudian Status… Out of the few hundred there children i.e. babies and then school students, all are part of the total number of foreigners who wish to claim Bermuda as their home. Oh,by the way, they aren’t all “white people” either :-(

    • Sabrina says:

      What a bunch of crock. Have you seen the numbers involved? You think that about 1500 people will significantly change the voting demographics? What constituencies are they in? Would it even make a difference? The answer is neither you nor anyone else knows. You are just propagating a PLP rhetoric that stirs the masses so as to destabilize the government. NOTHING MORE. These people are already here – so the islands resources ploy if null and void also.

    • George says:

      1. OBA never made any election promises to use referendums to make policy decisions – no party would be able to govern a country in that way.

      2. Your assertion that the OBA is proposing these immigration changes to retain power has already been disproved. With an estimated 683 people who would possibly benefit today by the grant of status through the proposed changes to immigration policy, out of a voting population of 44,000 = 1.6% So no it would not affect a general election outcome especially as we don’t know in what constituency these individuals would be eligible to vote or even if they would vote for the OBA. Based on the last elections results there would have to be 1700+ new status grantees for the changes to make any difference and again they would all have to be voting in marginal seats and all vote for the OBA – so no your assertion is incorrect!

      Remember if ever in any doubt don’t forget to quote the facts; “http://www.elections.gov.bm/index.php/election-results?ElectionId=9″

      3. Next fallacy you would like debunked Mr. Smith?

  32. Won't do it says:

    I didn’t vote in the last election but if I did, I certainly wouldn’t vote for the PLP. Guess what! There are plenty of others that stayed at home that will probably vote the next time and I wouldn’t be too sure that they would vote PLP either!!!!!

  33. Trisha says:

    Wow I see a Lot of you are expat, why? How bad is it where you from?

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Haven’t you ever heard the expression, it is never a good idea to assume anything. Just proves not all Bermudians think alike. Is that so hard to accept? A Bermudian born and bred here.

      • Trisha says:

        If Bermuda will be infested by haters like I ‘all be walking tomorrow,” no no”, you got something against Bermudians, OBA will not give you anything

  34. Curious says:

    How are so many people so privy to an individual’s future vote? Do you have a crystal ball? Why the heck wasn’t it used to see the numbers for that huge lottery in the US not so long ago! Walter you got some number that people can call like crime stoppers where you don’t have to give your name? Dang I could produce a multitude of sequels of Dumb and Dumber with the abundance of characters here but unfortunately they are over qualified for the job. Guess I have to start discriminating again so they have something to complain about. Stage right ostriches. Makeup get the gays ready for center stage. It’s time for them to parade! Props, Lights, People get out of the way, there is a show to run and all you are doing is getting in the way. Others, Bermudians, Equals center stage for camera……action.

  35. my view says:

    Clearly this is not going away. I believe all sides agree that something should be done for our friends that have lived here for a long time . Bermuda is a small place and any changes effect us all more than a large country.I have a feeling this is going to get worst before it gets better. When persons start thinking that their children may have limited future here then you have a big problem. That is both sides who have children albeit children who are born here should have status after a certain age. This is already law .They know no different place to call home.I also believe we will cause lines to be drawn between born Bermudians and persons who have lived here for over 20 yrs.This may not be a black and white issue. OBA will do what they have stated . All I hope is that there is common ground. When the election is held the results will show what the people want. This could back fire.Only time will tell.

  36. Happyhols says:

    Wow Bermuda – take a step back and take a long hard look at yourself. My only conncection with Bermuda is a wonderful holiday on your beautiful island. I picked up this story through social media where it is spreading very quickly and it does not reflect well on you.

    At a time when desperate humanitarian crises means that almost every developed, first world country is having to accept immigrants into their countries in huge numbers then feed them, house them, provide them with healthcare and money to live on you have protests about giving status to people who have resided in Bermuda and contributed to your country for 15 to 20 years. Seriously???????

    Please be careful as you are projecting a xenophobic image to the rest of the world which is not going to help your tourism industry one bit.

  37. some beach says:

    You should intense yourself…seriously…..there are no indigenous people here… We are all from somewhere else!…for someone to say they don’t like another because of skin colour or culture is rasist!
    Who the hell are you to say anything really?

  38. Starting Point says:

    FACT – our debt is unsustainable and needs to be dealt with now
    FACT – any new economy, be it deep sea mining, space exploration or what ever ridiculous suggestion for a 22 mile long island with no natural resources, not even enough to sustain the current population would take 10-15 years to have any impact on our debt.

    so we have a proposed option from the OBA. Grow the population, new Bermudians would be by default educated, professionals with disposable income to spend on the island on houses, cars, utilities etc. In almost 90% of the cases they would be competing for professional work in the industry, not entry level, tourism or labour.

    The PLP option must then be, across the board tax on the populace and IB, if you do not want any new Bermudians then you must pay the debt off with our current adult population.

    So we either grow the population (OBA) or institute income and value added service tax (i.e. tax on clothes, food etc, at the register) on the current population as well as IB (PLP) effective immediately.

    This is the sham the PLP pulls as the opposition, they know the debt needs to be paid off, they know the real only way to make that happen yet they offer no solutions and only inflame, through race baiting, the situation. Reality is at the end of the day the PLP leadership are either stupid, or in actual fact, calculating sycophants who’s only dedication to Bermuda and Bermudians is to have the power and money that comes with their version of government.

    It is SICK how the PLP is taking advantage of us with their selfish desire for power in that they will sacrifice the entire country for it, SICK.

    • mj says:

      lets start at the starting point! You don’teven begin to understand the meaning of selfish until you realize what most Bermudians have had to face in their lifetime trying to survive on a tiny island.. Politics has always been selfish and catered to the foreigner. This island is clearly overpopulated with people that don’t belong here and are too selfish to admit that because they THINK they are making a contribution they have some rights, because they have been invited by a select few they have exaggerated their importance..You have no idea what the capabilities of Bermdians are if left to their own resources which by the way they were STRIPPED of benefitting from, because of a law of discrimination against the indigenous people from earning from THEIR OWN BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS!!!!!The first law of discrimination was in Bermuda in the seventheenth century and HAS NOT CHANGED TO DATE!!!So do you really want to discuss selfish or acquiescence?!!

  39. aceboy says:

    Pay very close attention to the Budget today Mr. Roban. Very close attention.

    All the tax increases result from your party’s rein of economic terror that was forced upon this island. Those who are working hardest will pay the most. Those people you had disrupting the meeting designed to get this island out of the hole you put us in need to understand the damage you have done. They cannot expect others to fund the mistakes of the past. Everyone is going to have to pay.

  40. John says:

    Copied from a previous post but points well made.

    So should we grant citizenship to people who cannot afford to live on the island? Your point may be that they can afford to live on the island if they are paying rent or receiving a housing allowance however the key argument from the OBA is that we need these people to remain in Bermuda to spend and contribute. Status or non status these expats are going nowhere with the salaries that they earn(relative to their home country) and the reality is that when they cease working the majority will not be able to afford to live in Bermuda and will just bug out to Canada or elsewhere and buy their nice house for $750k. The result is that their children return to the island or stay on island with status and overpopulate an already crowded and competitive workforce. The same also applies to a good portion of those who can afford to buy property, the fact is that the majority of this group also have no intention of staying on island once their salaries disappear through retirement or redundancy.
    Anyway the irony is that this process is only going to make the work permit situation worse for expats. There is no chance that the OBA will win the next election and assuming this legislation is passed the PLP will be forced into a position in which they will not allow expats to reach this 20 year milestone. So if you’ve been here for 20 years then fill your boots and good luck but for all you 10 year workers your stay is just going to be cut short and I’m afraid you’ll have to take that 80% pay cut to do the same job back home (and pay a little tax too I’m afraid)

    • Sabrina says:

      You know – I remember being at the meeting the then Minister of Immigration Col Burch held for Bermudians in IB only. When pressed about term limits and companies leaving, Col Burch responded that the executives would never want to leave Bermuda, its too wonderful here. What happened – they left and Bermuda has been in a downward spiral ever since.

      People need to wake up and really smell reality.

  41. history says:

    Force that law through and Bermuda will turn into turmoil.

    There was a Bda before IB came and that bda is still here.
    You have just come to a foreign country and now state that your “are entitled”

    To the expat Philipino chinese etc. – keep your votes in your own country. (it is the right thing to do)
    Instead of trying to hang onto our Bda coat tails.

    Your input on how Bermuda runs is not warranted or wanted here.
    or go back from whence you came

    • Sabrina says:

      Really. What was Bermuda like before IB. Tourism? You think Bermuda can live off what is generated from Tourism?

      If I am forgetting something please enlighten me. How do you propose Bermuda live without IB say starting next month?

    • Think About It says:

      I am Bermudian and this person does not speak for me. The world has moved on from the time when tourism could support us. That is no longer the case. And don’t even get me started about what happens when Cuba gets going. Bermuda has always been resourceful, and we need to keep it up. We can survive, but it will be terribly difficult as we struggle to pay off the enormous debt the PLP piled up. We need more people contributing to out economy. We cannot recover financially from the PLP reign of terror without some help. Our homegrown adult population cannot afford the enormous tax it would take. Thank you to all the expats who have settled here and helped us in so many ways, from providing jobs, to supporting charities. You are more welcome here than it might sound sometimes.

  42. ALVIN WILLIAMS says:

    Bermuda is a country that refuses to learn from it’s history and has persisted in going down a path which has brought continue social upheaval which in the end has require it to bring in a board of inquiry which tells them to do what the people told them to do all along. this question of immigration has all the hall marks of what has led to past social upheavals and therefore a lesson that should have been learnt.

    • Sabrina says:

      As a person who feels that this government is wrong with this policy – please explain what you would do differently and how that would benefit Bermuda.

  43. Long Term Expat says:

    As an expat myself who arrived almost a decade ago who has truly been enamored with Bermuda, I would like to consider myself a contributing member of Bermuda’s society. I met my spouse in Bermuda (who is also an expat) and we both know that we’re living on ‘borrowed time’ while here because our work permits may not be renewed. Although we do contribute to Bermuda’s economy (paying rent, buying groceries, buying local as much as possible, donating to local charities, assisting with local cultural events, etc), I must say that we’re both guilty of sending our savings overseas to our home countries in order to protect our savings since we’re limited to seeing Bermuda not as our home, but only as a temporary stop on our journey of life.

    As much as it would be nice to see Bermuda as a more of a permanent fixture in our lives, we must make smart financial decisions for our future and if we may potentially have to leave Bermuda at any time, it simply isn’t financially prudent to make any long-term investments here.

    With at least the potential for a PRC, at least I know that any efforts I put towards helping school fundraisers, building community programs, etc. should be focused on Bermuda (as opposed to my home country) since my future children will probably spend their development years in Bermuda and not in my home country.

    This isn’t a question of trying to maintain job security, since I don’t believe the concept of job security truly exists any more (downsizing happens, company mergers happen, things do change), but simply a matter of making the smart decision to invest my time, money, and efforts towards the future of my family.

  44. anydeeng says:

    You old party politics fools cant even properly discuss and debate immigration possibilities?!

    Bermuda is screwed

  45. some beach says:

    I would like to taker this moment to say…this island is for any and all races and is not for one race!…

    So just get that out of your selfish self centred self serving secular thinking minds!

    Bermuda is a place for anyone of any Creed colour or religion or race!…Any more talk about race and I feel legislation be put forth and passed in house making it punishable by law and large fines imposed on fools who wish to make defamatory remarks or implicative comment….it just has to stop…

    No one race is placing themselves dominant!

    This will not transpire!

  46. Van Martin says:

    This is complete BS! No employer would hire an expat if there was a Bermudian waiting to fill the spot, and that Bermudian was just as desirable. Saying that decision is based on skin colour, makes you an idiot, a knave, or more likely, a liar. You are only saying these things to gain political power based on false information.

  47. Van Martin says:

    Those OBAers think they can do anything to we poor people. I say there will be huge unrest if that nasty expatriates status law goes through.