Another Gathering Over Immigration Scheduled

March 2, 2016

The Immigration Reform Action Group is calling for people to gather on the grounds of the House of Parliament this Friday [March 4], asking people to “show the Government that there is not just a handful of Bermudians that are concerned about the proposed immigration legislation.”

The announcement on social media said, “Black Friday! Brown Bags! Black Friday! Brown Bags!

“Let’s show the Government that there is not just a handful of Bermudians that are concerned about the proposed immigration legislation! They need to listen to the people of this country! We demand Comprehensive Bipartisan Immigration Reform now!!!

“Let’s all wear black on Friday, March 4th, 2016 and gather to have a brown bag lunch on the grounds of the House of Parliament. Bring a blanket or towel, bring a chair, bring another concerned Bermudian.

“We especially appeal to our fellow unemployed countrymen to join us. Let’s have a ‘sea of black’ on Parliament grounds.

“Even if you cannot join us for lunch, we ask that you still wear black on Friday as a show of support.”

Following yesterday’s protest on East Broadway — which the police said “may constitute the offenses of unlawful assembly or obstruction” — a post on social media by the group said, “Yes, people were frustrated but now more of us are talking about the issue.

“Imagine how those thousands of unemployed Bermudians feel now that they may never get a job in their own country since the government wants to open the door to solidify that non-Bermudians who already have jobs will be able to vote. And who do most of those people represent?

“Who do you think for whom they will vote? Where do they shop? Where do their children attend school? Who do they employ? Wake up Bermuda we are being left behind in our own country!!! We should be taken care of as well! Step back OBA Government; this is not the right way to treat your citizens!”

Since the immigration initiative was announced, there have been four protests, and you can view all our coverage of those protests here.

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Comments (78)

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  1. hmmm says:

    “Who do you think for whom they will vote? Where do they shop? Where do their children attend school? Who do they employ? Wake up Bermuda we are being left behind in our own country!!! We should be taken care of as well! Step back OBA Government; this is not the right way to treat your citizens!”

    They will vote for whoever they want !
    They will shop just as you and I wherever they want !
    Their children would have most likely grown up and left!

    We are talking a couple of hundred people here.

    Hey PLP QUIT PLAYING US BERMUDIANS for FOOLS , or is that what you think we really are?

    • Let's all meet for Justness and Dignity! says:

      For those that support giving our friends, colleagues and neighbours the dignity and respect they deserve for contributing to this island over more than decades–

      Let’s all meet alongside our brothers and sisters on Friday to show our support to the Goverrnment for doing the just and humane thing.

      This is a test of what we as Bermudians are made of—we are just and fair people–let’s show it–there are two sides to every dicussion and so far the shrill side of one argument is all that has been heard!

      • Come Correct says:

        Later today the plp disliker will be on constantly refreshing the page putting multiple dislikes on any comment that goes against their agenda as someone with no life and nothing better to do with their time would do in order to give the false impression they have more support than they really do. Pretty sad when all you have to run on is deceit.

        • hmmm says:

          Sounds like you know this campaign is driven by political agenda of the PLP.

        • Come Correct says:

          Well that was sooner than I expected lol.

      • Rhonnda Oliver says:

        Probably should figure out a way to show the difference between the two perspectives or it would get confusing.

      • Luis Suarez says:

        I agree, counter protest. Let’s shout these fools down. Show them the true majority voice.

    • Real Talk (original) says:

      “We are talking a couple of hundred people here.”

      Wrong. We’re talking about everybody who sets foot in Bermuda on a work permit that they’re able to roll over for 15 years.

      The AG and Minister were not able to provide a number but estimate a couple of hundred. Per year.

      • Protest says:

        This is true. I know someone who applied for two high level positions in the reinsurance market, only to be turned down on both. That person was never given an interview on the 2nd job opportunity which they were overqualified for. That person called weeks later to see why no interview was offered only to be told that they were not a perfect fit. That person was fully capable of doing both jobs with ease. That person has an impeccable resume but didn’t stand a chance when the two positions being offered were just job renewals for two expat workers. In no time will these two expats be eligible for applying for PRC. I encouraged this person to speak to immigration about the situation, however that person did not want to get black listed. Unfortunately this scenario happens far too often in Bermuda to many Bermudians both black and white and, those married to Bermudians. We have a huge loophole here where companies can discriminate against Bermudians and control the PRC market.

        • Smh says:

          “I know someone who…” ” that person was fully capable” . I would be very interested in hearing the other side of this story. Sounds like you heard only one side when you made your conculsion. Some of the possibilities might be: Maybe the employee heard about the employees reputation when they called for reference, lack of experience, wanting too much money, not wanting to work long hours or wekends, or maybe it was an inscrupulous employee who should be reported to immigration. All i am saying is that mst times there’s a very valid otherside to the story

          • Protest says:

            Smh, unfortunately none of yours reasons would even be consider for this person. Pay was never discussed, and to note that many Bermudians and those married to Bermudians receive a far lower pay and without any of the added bonuses, housing allowances when compared to the expat. This person has a very strong work ethic, has an impeccable resume and skills and has only super positive references. The fact of the matter was that this reinsurance company had two high level employees which they had brought in and trained and did not want to lose them. Their contract was up, but as done in many cases the company just rolled their contract forward again. Lets just say that these two expats will be close to applying for PRC at the end of their next contact. As noted, it is far too easy for any company to roll forward a work permit as we all know even if their is a valid Bermudian or spouse of a Bermudian.

        • Franklin Jr says:

          As someone in reinsurance, this is BS

          The whole industry is falling all over itself to hire/retain Bermudians

          This is either a complete fabrication, or there’s wayyyyy more to it than the “facts” presented

          • Protest says:

            Unfortunately Franklin Jr I wish it was total BS in the case I mentioned. For this person not to be even given an opportunity to interview on the 2nd lower level position offered within the same company (which the person easily qualified for), and to be told over the phone, only that they were not a perfect fit, demonstrated a blatant loophole in the system especially since the contracts were rollovers. It was such a blatant loophole that I encouraged the person to contact Immigration, who unfortunately declined to report, as in fear of being blacklisted. This practice of rolling a contract forward for an expat while there is qualified Bermudian or spouse of Bermudian does happen and will continue to happen until better protection processes are put in place.

            • Franklin Jr says:

              But but but…

              You just said that Bermudians are far cheaper to employ than expats! (under your current hypothetical scenario of gross mistreatment of Bermudians)

              The officers of the company literally have a legal obligation to their shareholders to maximize profit (okay, it’s not THAT simple, but that’s the one sentence summary). So… if they could make a whole lot more money hiring (and mistreating!) this “qualified” Bermudian, sounds like somebody’s got a fiduciary duty problem… uhoh!

              As usual, none of this adds up / smells right

              Try again!

      • sobbing_sob says:

        Wrong. Anyone who comes here on a work permit has to get it renewed every few years, at which point all suitably qualified bermuda have an opportunity to apply.

        • Protest says:

          Correct…. however even though all suitably qualified Bermudians and spouse of Bermudians have applied to that job offer, a company can easily dismiss all those applications if they want to rollover the work permit. Who is going to stop that company from doing it?

          Just as many job applications are tailored around specific individuals or persons who have been selected for that position making it sometimes impossible for those applying to get that job if enough “hoops” have to be jumped through. Companies have a great amount of control to bend or break rules even it comes down to discriminating against Bermudians.

          • Franklin Jr says:

            you can’t “dismiss” applications numbnuts! Now I know your above posts are typical rumour mill BS

            Immigration ALSO sees every applicant, you can’t just “rollover” a contract save for a few things like CEO/CFO

            try again!

      • Steven G says:

        And you know what Real Talk, maybe we should just leave. Maybe us ex-pats should head back to all those miserable cities like London, New York, Cape Town and Dublin.

        Of course we’ll take about 10,000 jobs with us, because actually all those cities plus Barbados, Malta, Cayman, Gibraltar would crawl over broken glass to welcome us.

        But its ok, you can go back to your old job at the Sonesta, and the roads will be a little quieter.

        Honestly, some of you really do live in another world.

        • Bdaluv says:

          Bye! And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

          • Cool says:

            You’ll be begging for that door to be open again, when bermudas economy collaspes, and who knows you kight be forced to move elsewhere and you will finally see how expats are treated

        • LOL (Original TM*) says:

          And then you would realize that the pay is not what it was here bye!!!

        • Real Talk (original) says:

          I seem to have struck a nerve.

          At no point did I suggest that anybody “should just leave”.
          In fact, nobody is suggesting that anybody “should just leave”.

          If we are going to have a conversation about immigration, it needs to be an HONEST one.

          And let’s be honest: individuals who come to Bermuda to work do so because there is some benefit that they would not enjoy in their countries of origin. And yet Bermudians are the ones accused of being entitled…

  2. Trisha says:

    Please every one let’s get together for our future coming and the one of our children. The government should serve us well, they think they are to rule, that is not how it goes. They are suppose to run the island for the good of Bermudians and we have the right to agree or decline on their decitions also.

    • jt says:

      Many, many Bermudians feel they are, in fact, running the country for the good of Bermudians.
      What do you say to them?

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      Where did you go to school lmfao?!

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      What makes you think they aren’t thinking about our future, our children, what makes you think they aren’t serving us well. So far their policies have:
      Slashed a crippling deficit that if left would have destroyed our children’s future… as it is now, it will still take generations to clean up from
      They have gotten further with new tourism developments in this country than any other administration in the last 3 decades
      They have cracked down on and made it easier to tackle more immigration violators than any previous administration
      They have made the jobs available in the Bermuda market easier and more accessible to locals to view and apply for
      They have done more to return us to a stature of respectability in the international business, a reputation that was severely neglected and abused by the previous administration
      They are tackling the very difficult issue of immigration law for Bermuda’s future, an issue that has been repeatedly kicked down the road by previous administrations. And while the opposition barks lots about a lack of collaborative effort, it is impossible to hold their complaints seriously as their leader has yet to overturn his very public declaration that there would be no collaboration with the demonic government. In fact the only inkling of any plans for immigration to come out of Alaska Hall is an old statement that granting status is a line they would not cross… meaning that the plan so far from them is to keep kicking that can down the road. It is also disingenuous of the current protestors to get up there and say they are demanding a bipartisan reform, when they have yet to provide any alternatives and bolster their ranks with people that don’t want to see status grants to anyone… there can be no reform without the creation of a pathway to status, otherwise it wouldn’t actually be reform, just maintaining the status quo.
      Despite assertations that the current government isn’t looking out for the interests of Bermuda and Bermudians, the success they have managed so far in turn this country back around from the brink, despite the adversity they have faced, says otherwise. Unfortunately it will still take time (and more foreigners) to get things back on track for Bermudians to start feeling the benefits.

  3. jt says:

    I rag. Yep.

  4. Trisha says:

    I am not for PLP or OBA, they both have done damage to the island by renewing permits that shouldn’t have been passed, now unemployment just keeps growing. But my desagreement doesn’t go for all expats because I know some are needed, I deesagree for the humanitarian expats when there seems not to be humanitarian views for unemployed Bermudians.

    • Rick Olson says:

      Work permits are approved by the immigration dept and the board not the OBA or the PLP maybe more job categories should be restricted to Bermudians only ?

      • Jay says:

        Totally agree why should a country this small be allowing employers to bring in so many people from countries that are thosands and thosands of miles away to do jobs which we all know that there are Bermudians who are ready and able to do. Asinine. Many of these people are even taking jobs that high school and College students traditionally filled.Is this good for the country? The answer is no. There is something called closed catergories at the immigration department. Don’t know who is monitoring that catergory but they are not doing their job.

    • hmmm says:

      There are jobs on the jobs board ….

  5. Let's stand for respect and dignity says:

    To show respect, diginity and fairmess to all of our colleagues, friends and neighbours that are impacted by this change and that have been so badly treated by one segment of this population.

    Let’s all go out on Friday and join our brother and sisters that are being unkind and cruel and plain disrespectful and show our support.

    These people have contributed to Bermuda for decades and deserve far better treatment by the Government and fellow citizens.

    For those of you that are god-fearing people–how do your reconcile the awful and hateful treatment you are throwing at thee people–Haven’t you any compassion for their feelings.

    Supportes of rights for those whho have no voice–come out one and all on Friday!!!

  6. My two cents says:

    Please just have a little tiny bit of respect for people that need to make work on time and stay out of the street. Thank you kindly.

  7. Strike fund says:

    “Black Friday”

    Subliminal message?

  8. San George says:

    The power of social media. Well done guys. Now use it to force your MP to do what you tell them. This is representative government – your MP does what you tell them or they are gone. Own your MP.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

  9. Franklin Jr says:

    Wear purple and block the entrance to the cabinet grounds!

  10. Unbelievable says:

    Laverne, the issues of today do not look like the issues from yesterday. Step aside.

  11. Keystroke says:

    Uh oh. They’re playing the food card.

  12. watcher says:

    Can someone from the combined opposition group, please explain to me what comprehensive, bi-partisan immigration reform looks like…………….. no didn’t think so!

    • Family Man says:

      It means term limits, at the end of which we have to train another expat while an experienced expat is forced to leave to join our competition in the Caymans, Ireland, The Philippines or Switzerland.

      Remember work permits only get renewed if there is NO qualified Bermudian that applies for the job.

      Been there. Done that. Still suffering.

      • LOL (Original TM*) says:

        You mean if employers continue to make job requirements based on people’s resume they want to hire…….


    • Hmmm says:

      @Watcher… They have no idea… Bi-patrician means to work together… The PLP has NO IDEA on how to work with anyone, they only thing they know how to do is spend what they don’t have.

      Unfortunately the PLP has a few blind followers (and possibly paid bloggers) that turn everything into RACE and US vs THEM. Why, Because the PLP have no idea how to successfully run a country (as is evident by their 14 years of overspending) and no idea how to get us out of the Debt they caused.

      Bermuda needs to increase it’s population, it needs the economy to grow. They only way to do this is to give stability to people that would otherwise leave and take their earnings with them. (Like it or not).

      All Bermudians somewhere in their family tree were granted citizenship (unless your a hog), so why complain about a few more of us?

      Funny how the PLP have brought up the “I” word again? Independence, something they were vehemently opposed to a few years ago, but , surface every time it suits them.

      Hey… lets all wear our RAINBOW colors on the 4th!!!

    • Torian says:

      Looks like a flavor of the month buzzword.

  13. Happy says:

    if there is fute punch and cokkees I am commin

    • Hair says:

      Happy, I bringing the violin, but strings are broken!!! yet again…

  14. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    None of you lot even know what Comprehensive Bipartisan Immigration Reform is! LMFAO!!! Who did all your googling?

  15. Peter says:

    It appears that this group is trying to be a racial, “Black Friday, Brown Bags”.

    There should be a counter protest, with Right Thinking Bermudians wearing Pink, Green, Blue.

    I’ll be there.

  16. Oracle says:

    I’ll be there, wearing all white, and a big fat fish sandwich from ArtMels..

    • wahoo says:

      That is cool I don’t think it is wahoo in those sandwidges. But how about hamburger instead? Just incase.

  17. Lets be real says:

    How about all for immigration reform do the same thing but wear bright colors. The decision should be made by the majority, lets see who that is!

    • Bermudian says:

      Yes, yellow, red, white, any bright color! We stand for the bright future of Bermuda!

  18. Nasty Bunch says:

    ““Who do you think for whom they will vote? Where do they shop? Where do their children attend school? Who do they employ? Wake up Bermuda we are being left behind in our own country!!! We should be taken care of as well! Step back OBA Government; this is not the right way to treat your citizens!”


    What a statement from a disgusting bunch of people.

    That quote above is the most racist, fear mongering statement I have ever read on a news story on this site.

    absolutely disgusting.

  19. Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

    We are going to have a long hot summer, in more ways than one!

  20. BdaReally says:

    It is just a hand full of you. From what is shown on the media and what I’ve seen in person it is and why because most Bermudians are intelligent enough to understand the logic behind this decision. It’s amazing how Bermudians get in an uproar when people who have devoted years of their lives to Bermuda can’t be allowed to permanently reside but let a Bermudian find out that they have a claim to a green card or able to move to the UK and live off the Government because there they go. So it’s ok for us to go and live in other countries but not ok for anyone to be able to establish residency her if they are not born Bermudian.

  21. BdaReally says:

    Let’s be realistic now no one is a true Bermudian. When this island was founded it was just hogs running around they did not find no indigenous people living here therefore we all have a right to stake a claim. Just because your family was one of the first settlers does not matter, you came from somewhere else so never say I am Bermudian and your not just because your family goes back centuries living in Bermuda and mine does not. Plus don’t forget the first people to leave their mark in Bermuda were Portuguese but yet you want to say foreigners have no right to claim Bermuda.

  22. Brent Searle says:

    Yes you may have been born here. But we all originated somewhere else. Pull youre heads out people you dont own the island.

  23. wahoo says:

    As long as the real Bermudians do not have to pay for police presence….Will the promoter please give his/ her card details prior.

  24. Bermy85 says:

    I keep hearing the issue of qualified bermudians being overlooked for ‘foreigners’. How they have a harder time finding employment and that expats are stealing their jobs. Does anyone actually know a qualified bermudian who does not have a job? (And by qualified I do not meant that you have just managed to complete high school).

    • Protest says:

      I don’t think anyone has stated that a qualified Bermudian or spouse of Bermudian will never get a job. However there are cases where a qualified Bermudian or spouse of Bermudian has be denied a job or even an interview to the job offer, as the company is rolling an expat contract over or preselected an individual based on a groomed job advert. If a company wants to make it happen, they will make it happen. Unfortunately there is no real protection for the Bermudian or spouse of Bermudian in these situations.

      • True Lies says:

        But why should there be? It is in the company’s best interest to retain their current employee rather than hire and train someone new. The ex-pat is inherently more qualified than any other applicant, because they already have experience in that specific role at that specific company.

  25. wahoo says:

    Yes all qualified Bermudians without a job please come forward. I have heard about you and now I would like to know who you are and what you are qualified for.

    This is important as you will understand no doubt.

  26. LOL (Original TM*) says:

    I’m white and would support these guys as I feel they have a point but they as always make everything black white issue. I do not believe that Bermuda can sustain making say 100 new Bermudians year over year every year. Imagine the price of rent when housing is in such a shortage, prices of all things would increase as higher demands would be placed on the markets of all types. Will wages increase, doubt it. Would jobs be plentiful? We seem not to have enough jobs now just look at employment states (for Bermudians that is and yes qualified). It simple really no opportunities for locals so locals relocate that is where the “brain drain” comes into play. Is Bermuda for Bermudians? Its not looking that way right now. I think the OBA need as many votes they can buy this time.

    LOL just an observation time will tell but right now I will not be voting

    • sobbing_sob says:

      The only brain drain is when expats leave when they are fed up with being treated like second class citizens.
      Prices will not go up, there will be no material change in demand/population.

      This is about doing the right thing, and it will in turn provide more jobs for everyone with more expenditure across the board reviving the economy. It’s not rocket science

      • Me says:

        I work for a 60 person RI company about 50/50 US-UK/Bermudian.

        I can tell you that the chatter at the coffee machine is screw this, I have options, I don’t need to feel unwelcome. Maybe not tomorrow, but sooner than it would have been.

        Oh and by the way, it won’t mean 30 Bermudians are left.

        • LOL (Original TM*) says:

          well bye bye your company will still operate here as long as its profitable to do so you and your expat friends will not really matter when the board sees the bottom line or do you think your that important. Oh and so your also saying the Bermudians aren’t educated enough well I see why you feel unwelcome try telling that to your Bermudian co-workers see how far you get. If you think prices would not go up you must not have a degree in economics or have any ability to understand historical stats and trends, where do you work I think I need to apply for your job…….


          • True Lies says:

            There are few degrees less useful than an economics degree. If you think that giving people who are already here the right to vote will make prices go up, then I’m not sure how to talk to you, since I don’t have a degree in psychology.

            I can tell you with certainty that my company would not continue to operate here if all of the ex-pats left. They would have no employees left to do the actual work.

      • Cool says:

        Your spreading some BS

  27. plank says:

    It’s not only a few that are protesting sh….t ,think about about the silent one .
    The government has problem can’t wait to the milk man and his party

  28. This is a moot point really…Bermudians couldn’t find a job duringplp…that is why govt. Absorbed them into govt jobs .. .OBA kept them employed out of human decency…and …love…

    Bermuda is for any who wish to live here…of any color…to generate work you need investment…sooooooooooooooo…you need ….to open your doors…your minds….and acceptance of others …as you yourself would wish to be accepted…

  29. Short Memories says:

    I love it. You’re getting your knickers in a twist for someone having their permit renewed year in year out and yet, was it not he who cannot be mentioned and his little henchman who brought 4 Uighurs to Bermuda under a cloak of darkness and subsequently left them stateless which means they have to stay? Did they not work as landscapers at Port Royal at some point? Were those not 4 positions Bermudians could fill? Where do they work now? Are they Bermudian all of a sudden? How do they support themselves, their wives and children (if they have them)? Where was the outcry from PLPer’s over that? Get a grip and welcome to the real world.

    • Real Talk (original) says:

      Surely you know the difference between 4 stateless individuals who were brought into the island as a humanitarian gesture versus people (some of whom circumvent immigration controls) who enjoy the benefits of citizenship elsewhere…

  30. bluebermuda says:

    For anyone that is in favour of the pathways to status a Facebook page has been created called “We Support a Pathway to Bermuda Status”. Please join to show your support and wear BLUE tomorrow to show you are in favour of this pathway.