Pathway To Status Supporters Offer Submission

May 10, 2016

The “We Support A Pathway to Bermuda Status” group have provided a submission with recommendations to the Immigration Working Group and the Ministry of Home Affairs saying “Our position is that the Government’s original bill is an excellent model for reform and we hope that the final legislation brought to the House is not radically different.”

The group said, “The individuals behind the “We Support Pathways” Facebook group are pleased to release its formal submission to the Ministry of Home Affairs and to the Immigration Working Group.

“While we are disappointed that Government’s ‘Pathways’ legislation was not enacted in March, we welcomed the opportunity to make suggestions to improve the Bill.

“Our position is that the Government’s original bill is an excellent model for reform and we hope that the final legislation brought to the House is not radically different. Particularly, we believe that the plight of children and mixed-status families must come first in any reform to Bermuda’s immigration laws.

“If these provisions are retained or improved upon, there may be some scope for reform in respect of the long-term PRC and Bermuda status provisions.

“We also remind the public that polls after polls consistently show that a majority of Bermudians support the Government’s legislation. The Working Group therefore should not believe that has great scope to revise the Bill.

“Before compiling this report, we reached out to the more than 5,000 signatories and supporters of our petition, and to the just shy of 2,500 members of our Facebook group. We received close to 40 submissions. This report is the direct result of this process.

“Our recommendations in summary are as follows:

  • 1. The provisions allowing persons who were born in Bermuda or who arrived in Bermuda before their 6th birthday to apply for Bermudian status upon turning 18 should be revived.
  • 2. The children of Bermudians whose parents were not living in Bermuda at the time of their birth should be entitled to apply to register for Bermudian status by descent.
  • 3. Anyone who is able to obtain Bermudian status regardless of which pathway is used should be able to register any minor children living with them in Bermuda as part of the same application process so that they too can obtain Bermudian status.
  • 4. The Bill would allow the adopted under-12 children of Bermudians to automatically obtain Bermudian status. This threshold appears to be out of step with British naturalization laws which allow for the under-18 children of citizens to obtain British Citizenship or British Overseas Territories Citizenship. We would recommend that Government consider raising this threshold.
  • 5. The 10 year PRC pathway for young persons arriving in Bermuda should largely remain as proposed in the original Bill
  • 6. The 10 year PRC pathway for close family connections should largely remain as proposed in the original Bill subject to inclusion of the possibility that close family members of 31B PRCs may apply for PRC in their own right
  • 7. The 15 year PRC pathway should largely remain as proposed in the original Bill; however, we also recognize that there may be scope for adjustment in this respect.
  • 8. Any application process for a pathway should be paired with a parallel right to live and work in Bermuda while the application remains outstanding.
  • 9. The 20 year Status pathway should largely remain as proposed in the original Bill but the precondition of possessing a PRC should be removed; however, we also recognize that there may be scope for adjustment in this respect.
  • 10. The rule that says the spouse of a new Bermudian has to wait a further 10 years before being able to apply for Bermudian status in his or her own right needs to be relaxed, especially where the couple have been married for a considerable period of time already.
  • 11. Regardless of the results of this year’s referendum on same sex marriage, the genuine and subsisting partners of Bermudians should be allowed to apply for Bermudian status on the same basis as married heterosexual Bermudians.
  • 12. Section 20B (the so-called “sleeping provision” made possible by Carne and Correia) must not be repealed until such time as a future pathway to Bermudian status is established.
  • 13. We have no comment to make in respect of a number of clauses 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the Bill and support their inclusion in the legislation.
  • 14. The Bermuda Government, together with Her Majesty’s Government, needs to redouble efforts to resolve the Uyghur situation.

“We are also concerned about the Immigration Working Group’s 9 May press statement. Particularly we note the following:

  • “We will first deal with the issue of children adopted from overseas by Bermudians and the rights and privileges that should be extended to them, we invite comment and submissions from any interested party.”
  • “It is our intention to have our policy on this issue formulated by June 10, following consultation, and then, submitting it to Cabinet.”
  • “The next issue to be considered immediately after this involves maintaining the integrity of mixed status families.”

“First, it is grave concern to us that the Premier’s original letter, which was agreed to by the leaders of the March protesters, committed to reporting back to the Government with a view to tabling legislation on 13 May.

“The Working Group appears to have unilaterally decided for themselves to push this deadline back by a full month.

“Second, we are equally concerned about the sequencing of issues. The issue of adopted children, while important, is not urgent. All adopted children are deemed to possess Bermudian status until the age of 22.

“In contrast, the plight of young persons and mixed status families is far more urgent. There are many families on the precipice of being torn apart – these people need action now.

“We reiterate to the Ministry and the Working Group the importance of resolving this issue in short order. We will continue to monitor developments and hold all parties to account.”

The full “We Support Pathways Position Paper” [PDF here] follows below:

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Comments (49)

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  1. The Original Truth™ says:

    Fahy’s facebook support group pushing their agenda again acting like Bermuda is a continent with ample jobs to go around.

    “Finally, while not directly related to Government’s “Pathways” proposals, we urge all parties to seek a resolution to this issue. We understand that this may be an issue that needs to be carefully negotiated with the UK Government. However, many persons making submissions to us spoke of the need to have compassion for these individuals, even if it means facilitating the grant of a passport and having them leave to go elsewhere.”

    This group has it backwards because they are the ones who have elsewhere to go while the Uyghurs don’t. In any country with open immigration policies refugees come before PRCs since they REALLY are facing human rights issues. They should be allowed to stay before any other foreigner since they REALLY have no choice in the situation. At least the Uyghurs are happy to just have their immediate family be allowed to stay unlike some others who hope to get Bermuda status for not only their immediate family but also the rest of their country.

    • Rich says:

      And there it is – the lump fallacy of employment. The idea that there is a fixed number of jobs to go around and that economies are static.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        The only jobs that are not fixed and economies not static are online but the reality has to be faced that not everyone is able to an online job.

        Historically on island jobs have been a fixed number and the economy static. This would need to change first before we can fix our unemployment but it wont because the path being set is the same as it’s always been. In other jurisdictions even though they have an open immigration policy they still push the creation of re-education resources. Here our education resources are less than most third world nations. Instead the money is spent on pie in the sky ideas.

        • Europeans feel like they have a God given right to claim land around this world and disregard the rights of indigenous people or people of color. History has proven it, North and South America, Caribbean, Australia, India, Pacific Islands, Africa, especially South Africa.
          And it is unfortunate that they have inherited wealth and social status that was accumulated through unscrupulous actions, and now they expect to utilize their undeserved social and economic status at the expense of the disadvantaged for their own Utopia Fantacy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          F!@#ing Pathetic

    • Bluebermuda says:

      I’m guessing you did not read the report as you clearly did not understand the years people have to stay in Bermuda to get status/PRC. How would a whole other country get status from 1 family member without living here. Don’t assume they are Fahy’s support group as they have made strong recommendations to his policy. Wouldn’t they fully agree with the policy if they were “his group”. Smh

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        I’m not assuming they are Fahy’s support group. I know they are because I have seen regular post by him on their facebook page promoting and assisting them with their agenda.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        I fully understood the report and understand that being granted pathways to status by birth will lead to permit workers having children in Bermuda for that sole purpose. Granting status so openly will skew the amount of people who have the opinion that their whole family should get status and since they will be new Bermudians they will be able to vote in favor. It has already happened in other countries.

        • Bluebermuda says:

          Where did you see that work permit holders that have children in Bermuda will get status. It will NOT be immediately from what I read. They will have to wait until their 18th birthday in which their parents would most likely have PRC by then. As I said before read the report and understand it. By the way Fahy comments on other Facebook groups but I guess your too narrow minded to see that

          • The Original Truth™ says:

            “New section 31AA(b), to be inserted by clause 14 of the Bill, would allow persons born in Bermuda or who arrived in Bermuda before their 16th birthday to apply for a PRC after 10 years of residency”

            The section does not say a child of a PRC born in Bermuda or who arrived in Bermuda. This means ANY child born in Bermuda or who arrived in Bermuda before their 16th birthday as long as they reside in Bermuda for 10 years before they apply. Their parents don’t need to stay for 10 years as long as at some point the child lives in Bermuda for 10 years. Could be when the parent is there or later on if the child comes back to work in Bermuda. Do you really think that there won’t be permit workers taking advantage of this? Besides permit workers should not be allowed to have their permit renewed as many times as they do unless they are in a key position in a company. Your comment, “in which their parents would most likely have PRC by then” assures me that both you and I know that many permit workers regardless of their position have their permits renewed more often than not. A permit holder should only get PRC if they are in a key position but that’s not what Fahy’s pathways plan is geared towards.

            So a child of a permit worker arrives in Bermuda at the age of 15. Their parent’s permits as happens many times gets renewed until their here for a 10 year mark. The child now becomes eligible to get PRC status. There’s so many scenarios on how this can be taken advantage of.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Fahy does comment on other Facebook groups but I’m sure it’s only ones that support his agenda. Nevertheless it’s not just that he comments on this group but he posts whatever information he can to help them support their/his agenda.

  2. Ffs says:

    Anyone that is against this clearly shares the same views as donald trump… but clearly the same people against trump that live here talk about what a horrible person he is… yet they have the same views… it’s unbelievable.

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      Donald Trump lives on a continent not an island. You can’t compare the two in this matter.

      Still there’s a bit of a point to Trump’s ideas because USA has some of the most poverty stricken areas in the world and open immigration has not solved the issue. I don’t agree on Trumps views because of their extremity but Obama’s liberal immigration policies have not worked either. There needs to be a middle ground and Fahy does not have his planned policy on it.

      • Lol okay then says:

        I want to know why it wasn’t a problem for so many of these people to be living here for decades but now that they may be getting status, everybody is blowing a fuse. What’s the problem? They have ALREADY been here for years! Nothing will change!

    • Its me again says:

      Right….

      It’s funny that the “silent majoirty” which is a term coined by trump supporters call other people trump supporters…

      Back to my rumswizzle

  3. Leroy says:

    “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
    GBS

  4. mmm says:

    Bermuda must preserve opportunities for Bermudians to work, both present and future generations, yes we do need guest workers. The big question, a very big question is: ” Where will the hundreds of Bermudians work who are now in college away and will graduate in 2017, 2018..if the Government grants Bermuda status in 2016. There is an expectation of parents who have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to educate their children abroad, there is a huge expectati on of Bermudians in school to come home and enter the work force. Government must do the right thing. The guest worker came on a work permit for 5 years, it was renewed for 5 years when it was determined there where no suitable Bermud ian applicant and the guest worker was/is essential to the business. So someone or committee that continues to grant work permits must have seen or realised that hundreds of work permit holders would reach a ten year mark, and then a 20 year mark, and feel entitled. And I must stress, again, that we do need some guest workers, and we must take great pains that we don,t ignore our children who desire to enter the work place..and want to work,,and are currently away in school.

    • Triple mmm has made valid points…

    • Rich says:

      This has nothing to do with guest workers. This is about people who were born in Bermuda and who have lived here their whole lives. It is also about people here for 15 – 20 years. The Work Permit policy now is being robustly applied. Their inspectors are making far more queries, raiding far more places of employment, banning far more employers from getting permits and issuing far more fines than ever before. Stop trying to conflate the two.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        “This has nothing to do with guest workers. This is about people who were born in Bermuda and who have lived here their whole lives.”

        Not true! Guest workers give birth in Bermuda. If this policy goes through their children will be eligible for status and will be able to set a path for their parents having status also. Guest workers using policies like this has been termed in other countries as having anchor babies and it’s an issue in those countries and will be here if the policy is not altered so it doesn’t happen.

      • islandgal says:

        Not true, Guest worker’s came & never left & now have children that know no other life. Term limits should have been in place. This should have never happened.

  5. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    A pathway to success Immigration Reform Act,shall be voted on by the entire Bermuda Voting Populace before being Approved and tabled before Parliament for Perusal before being Acted upon ,or Re-enacted upon.Peace.

    • TO Takbih Karriem Sharrieff:
      I agree wholeheartedly. That intelligent stance would be a part of a democratic process.Your thoughts MUST be adhered to by oba/ubp.
      You are extremely WISE.
      Bermudians MUS come before any other person from anywhere else on this planet.
      It will be interesting to observe if this oba/ubp can see that too.
      They MUST show Bermudians that they respect us and that WE are a part of a humane and democratic approach to this IMMIGRATION PATHWAYS stuff!!!!!!!

  6. Coffee says:

    Say no to status until Bermuda gets it’s crime rate under control ! We need a stronger political will to upset the criminals . It makes absolutely no sense to add to the electorate when government can’t control who’s already on there !

    • Rich says:

      Yes, because all foreigners are criminals.

      • Torian says:

        It’s funny because most criminals are locals.

    • aceboy says:

      LOL

      Sure, re write the history of crime in Bermuda and blame the foreigners for all of it. Boy that is typical from a PLP supporter. De Nile isn’t just a river.

    • serengeti says:

      Serious crime is significantly reduced now that we have a competent government.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        Have you not seen the articles on armed robberies? Pretty hard to miss. I guess you really believe Jeff’s poor excuse of criminals having to supplement their criminal activities with other ones because of arrests. He needs to take a break on that one because there’s more likely reasons such as the load of reduced sentences that have happened in the past few months. Makes criminals think “hey! if I do the crime I will only have to do part of the time.”

        Crew on crew violence has reduced which has nothing to do with government and all to do with one crew winning their power play over the other.

    • Family Man says:

      Especially those Mexicans. I hear you Donald.

  7. Average Bermudian says:

    Instead of the dog wagging in the tail.
    Let the tail to wag the dog.

    Trying to push their way into Bda -

    OBA – Who do represent ?
    The average bermudian or the xpat who comes to bermuda to work ?

    fey ??

    • inna says:

      So did your forefathers “push” their way on to the island as well??

  8. O-O says:

    “We also remind the public that polls after polls consistently show that a majority of Bermudians support the Government’s legislation.

    A MAJORITY OF BERMUDIANS?? I know THE majority of Bermudians don’t support the Bill! Those polls are fuzzied and I know for a fact that a lot of those signatures are bogus and irrelevant as many are from expats that have not been on this island for 3 years and therefore have NO right to sign anything! The nerve! 5000 signatures don’t represent THE MAJORITY in a country of 70,000. Excluding expats, show a poll on Bermudians in support and I guarantee you those number drop significantly!!

    • Catherine says:

      At what point does your right to put your signature to something depend on your location? At what point do you develop the right to care about where you live?

    • Rich says:

      The last scientific poll showed 56% of registered Bermudian voters living in Bermuda in favour of pathways while 29% were against.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        I’m a registered Bermudian voter and I didn’t fill out any scientific poll. What poll are you talking about? An online poll full of flaws?

        • LiarLiar says:

          Nope.

          It was a scientific pool conducted by Global Research with the results published March 16 2016.

          It is the same poll which found that 53% of voters are against the airport deal. This 53% was noted by the PLP as being a ‘solid majority’ and as such the Government should stop the airport deal from proceeding.

          So by the PLP’s reasoning if 53% is a ‘solid majority’ then 56% should be viewed as an ‘overwhelming majority’ and thus they should cease their relentless opposition to pathways/

          But then again since you were not polled no results are going to be legit as you are the be all, end all, of public opinion apparently.

          PS: You don’t ‘fill out’ scientific polls. You answer question put forward to over the phone by the pollsters.

          • The Original Truth™ says:

            So in these not so scientific polls how do they guarantee the person on the other line is truly a registered Bermudian voter?

    • Rich says:

      Furthermore, you cite the petition of 5,000 signatures. The “Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform” petition only 2,200. That’s more than a 2 to 1 differential.

      If only 2,200 could be bothered to sign a petition in opposition, what does that tell you? Granted, some might be expats. But take them out, and you will still get closer to the 56% you see in the scientific polls.

      In any event, there is a moral argument to make. There are expats here whose voices SHOULD matter. These are the people who have been born in Bermuda and who have lived here their entire lives.

  9. lest we forget... says:

    the decision of the Bermuda Court?

    I think therein lies the fly in the ointment for the “NO No Nos”

    As a ruling has been made–for those not in favour of it–Get lawyers and mount and appeal in court.

    You will loose this argument in the court of public/political opinion as it is simply a legal issue.

  10. rhonda says:

    In a perfect world theoretically the government’s proposal appears fair, on the surface. But reality isn’t as clear cut….

    The other day there was a heartbreaking story in the media of a young man born an raised here…he stated his father and his father’s brother where both here for 20 plus years, they bought their spouses here now they have children born here, who feels the country now owes then status…..is it honest to say no Bermudian was able to fill the occupational roles they have….what field of work or expertise does these brothers have that no Bermudian was able to achieve in 2 decades…

    What about investigating the circumstances as to why we can’t educate of own…with that said. ..we have had several reports commissioned and recommendations given…all staying that the work permit policy is structurally racist, socially, and fiancially bias….

    And from the Wooding Report,Pitt Report, and more recent reports, very few of the recommendations have been implemented.

    So should we now join hands and say too bad that the oligarch screwed over the black population…. but we the benefactors of that situation. .now have some demands of our own..and those disinfrenchied by the oligarchy are xenophobic they don’t approve of our demands

  11. Homeless says:

    Keep your Status. I know when I’m not wanted in the county I’ve been resident in for the last 25 years, employing Bermudians,adding to the economy, not sending my money elsewhere. Have a Bermudian son. Time to exit.

    • Full Fuulish says:

      Forgive them for they know not what they do!

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      You are talking about your personal situation and I agree on your case but sadly not all follow the same story. This is why immigration laws need quotas and for those who say other jurisdictions don’t have them is an outright lie. It should be case by case when it comes to immigration as every individual is different and some will leech from Bermuda while others will help the country grow. We need laws that send the leeches packing and keep those of benefit.

      Here’s a little food for thought. Did you know that PLP’s first campaign was sponsored by two European PRCs. They are the main reason PLP won the first time. Just think how different history would have been if those two PRCs were never allowed that status. Not all PRCs are beneficial to Bermuda.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        Correction: Did you know that PLP’s first WINNING campaign was sponsored by two European PRCs.

  12. no name says:

    Are people reading what the focus is on right now? Adopted children and mixed status families (ie: one Bermudian Parent and one non-Bermudian parent)…. Can anyone actually tell me that they do not deserve to have status? You do not have to agree on each referendum, but there are areas which definitely need to be reformed, and these 2 situations MUST be reformed. So for those who like to just criticize, how about actually getting informed about the reforms. It is not just about long term residence and foreigners. There are other situations as well.

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      Sure I’ll agree with adopted children and mixed status families gaining pathways but that’s not the only focus to this groups submission so that’s not the only part to be reading when it comes to this article.

      That said if you want to talk about adopted children and mixed status families gaining pathways I feel that some stipulations should be added for the children of a foreign spouse that are not biological children of the Bermudian parent. If the spouse has 10 years to wait for status so should her children even if adopted. This gives time to prove that the spouse didn’t marry a Bermudian just so her children could get status. It already happens in other jurisdictions so caution should be taken. I know of a parent who has pretty much disowned their children for the new spouses children which needs to be avoided at all cost as we already have fatherless children for other reasons and don’t need more because step mommy is the new boss and feels her little precious is better than the other lady’s children.

  13. …..enter a submission????? Sheer lunacy and massive dysfunction.
    This is not their country of birth.
    One cannot go anywhere in the world and CLAIM residency in a minute period of time.
    These people have come here AD HOC, and want their “rightful spot” in this country.Absolute dysfunction AT ITS WORST.
    This oba/ubp is so bent on anything to get their votes, they could not care less about PEOPLE OF THIS SOIL.

    STAY ALERT BERMUDA…..STAY VIGILANT…STAY CONNECTED.
    These people are CRAZY!!!!!

    • Bluebermuda says:

      So your trying to say that a child born in Bermuda 20 years ago, Bermuda is not their country of birth. Are you against children that were adopted by Bermudans being able to attain status. I believe you need to take your words into consideration and STAY CONNECTED. Maybe we should tell all the Bermudians living elsewhere around the world to not expect any residency as you were not born there. Hope you don’t have a British passport as you have claimed something without any residency there.

      • D says:

        That is a GOD***N red herring, and you know it. I am a 24 year old (BERMUDIAN) university graduate, and even though I can go to NZ, AU, Canada, etc on a working holiday visa – best believe they make people jump through hoops before they’re granted PR status, let alone citizenship. GTFOuttaHere with that faux-morality argument.

        As for your STUPID British passport argument – Bermuda was claimed by Britain, and SLAVES were brought to the island to build it up. The United Kingdom / her crap majesty has an OBLIGATION to the people of her current / former colonies. Let’s not go down that route, because history, the law, and COMMON SENSE would serve you a nice KO in the first round. STAWP.