Immigration Group On Minister Brown’s Remarks

July 31, 2017

The “Supporting Fair Immigration Reform” group are “concerned about there being yet another consultation period pushing the deadline for reform back yet again” and say that Minister Walton Brown’s comments “did raise a few questions”.

A spokesperson said, “The individuals behind the “Supporting Fair Immigration Reform” Facebook group and our members are satisfied that the Minister of Home Affairs wishes to continue the work of the Immigration Reform Working Group rather than restart the process from scratch. However, the Minister’s comments did raise a few questions.

“First, we are concerned about there being yet another consultation period pushing the deadline for reform back yet again. We were supposed to have proposals on mixed status families and young persons by May 2016. This was pushed back to late 2016. Now a proposal is due in late 2017, with legislation unlikely until 2018. Perhaps with a former Working Group member as Minister, this will finally be when policies are pursued.

“Second, we note that the Minister has allowed the Working Group to continue work on a survey to obtain “sound statistics”. Although references were made in the past to the need for data, this is the first time we have heard about a survey. We do ask: what types of questions are being asked in this survey? How is the survey being conducted? Have any responses been received? Transparency should be the order of the day.

“We tried to assist the Working Group last year by reaching out to our 2,500 members and 5,000 petition supporters. We conducted a survey and shared the results with the Working Group. We also understand that other community groups assisted with sharing data to the Working Group. Given that the Working Group has had this data in their possession for almost a year, we worry that this exercise could lead to further delay. As we noted in the past, there is no such thing as perfect data.

“Third, if the Minister is keen to pursue a “principles first” immigration policy, then we would counsel him and the Working Group to not get caught up in what could be a fruitless exercise to obtain perfect data. Certain classes of persons are either deserving of Bermudian status or they are not. The Group should work from first principles and determine which categories of persons should benefit. Whether it is 5 people or 500, they are each deserving of their human rights being protected.

“As we have stated before, by continuing to do nothing to resolve the issue of “mixed status” families and other cases of young people, Bermuda remains in breach of international human rights standards and norms. When a person lives in a country for a long time, puts roots down in the community, makes friends and has family in Bermuda – their right to respect for private and family life is engaged. When these people have no pathway to long-term security, their rights are infringed.

“In our submission to the Working Group, we recommended that there be a direct pathway to status for persons born in Bermuda or who arrived at a young age, and who lived here their entire lives. These people so are thoroughly assimilated into Bermuda’s cultural and social fabric, and they know no other home. This would address nearly all persons in “mixed status” families and other categories of persons deserving of protection.

“We once again implore and urge the Working Group and the Government to consider this vitally needed reform.”

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Comments (39)

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  1. cpm says:

    Walton Brown will give Tweed his status through a loophole
    Lawyers are waiting in the wings

  2. Average Bermudian says:

    term limits would resolve this

    • Bermie says:

      just like term limits solved our housing crisis before, successfully drove thousands of people and their money out of our economy and vacated thousands of properties, leaving thousands of average Bermudians no way of paying their mortgages and having to default upon them. When I was growing up no one lost their houses due to default, but hey, just another way the PLP is putting Bermudians first….. First into financial diferculty

    • Onion says:

      They would also wreck our economy again.

    • Stinky D. says:

      I agree
      We have been down this road before

    • aceboy says:

      Yea, worked so well the last time the PLP introduced them.

    • Rich says:

      It clearly didn’t resolve the issue for these individuals. Remember – the vast majority of them lived through term limits under the PLP because for 14 years, they kept getting waivers and extensions.

      A better way to resolve this is to accept that Bermuda needs to join the 21st century and open its arms to non Bermudians fulfilling certain criteria and to put this pathway on an ongoing basis.

    • Cranberry says:

      How – exactly? Just a question…

      • Nikon says:

        Why do term limits work for EVERY OTHER JURISDICTION? Is it something special about here? Yes there is. International Business is our new slave owner…

    • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

      Almost every country has term limits on their work visas, but for some reason some people in this island have been led to believe that they are some alternative other than a universal norm. I don’t get it.

      • Bullnoseh says:

        Because you’re wrong.
        For skilled workers fulfilling a shortage, there generally are not term limits. Most countries welcome workers with needed skills and go out of their way to try to get them to stay.

  3. OBA Operative says:

    Dear Minister Walton Brown,

    Its real easy, accept the resignations of all the Members of this OBA Immigration Group.

    Particularly those who operate in recruitment sector marginalising Bermudian applicants so that they can charge their commissions.

    Yours faithfully,
    OBA Operative

  4. Nationalism and Populism says:

    Its a pretty basic concept, when your political party loses an election, your agenda no longer gets priority.

    The priority is now for all the holders of Bermuda Status (White & Black) who voted for the PLP and the simple mission statement of “Bermudians First”.

    Please lets not confuse such a simple concept.

    Furthermore, even former Senator & Minister Michael Fahy has now run for the hills and is in hiding after the failure of his unpopular Immigration policies.

    On to a more complex subject, in the UK, US and Canada all voters are behind a new internal looking society that doesn’t embrace immigration or giving people citizenship, so how on earth highly paid workers from these countries are now demanding Bermuda Status is beyond belief.

    Bermudians First, just like Americans First, or British First, or Canadians First, its all simple to understand.

    • fu says:

      “Canada all voters are behind a new internal looking society that doesn’t embrace immigration or giving people citizenship,”

      Lying to promote your agenda does nothing but make you look incredible.

  5. Godislove says:

    Agree. Without term limits the flood gates are open. Status for all who decide to relocate to Bermuda. Basically if your employer wants to keep you and you fill out the work permit renewal with all the “correct” information then you can stay. There are no mechanisms/ policies in place for Bermudians to be trained for the expat’s position; therefore, employers continue to successfully make the argument that no qualified Bermudian is available.

    I get it…it’s difficult to attract talent to the island if there are term limits (or is is this just a myth?) Do we know of any specific cases where talent was not lured to Bermuda successfully with the promise to pay rent and contributions to your child’s private school education OR just the promise that your wages are substantially greater than your next best option, albeit for a potentially limited time only. There has always been exceptions for key workers when term limits were in place. I say reinstate term limits temporarily until the comprehensive immigration reform is complete. Although I believe a permanent solution would also contain some form of term limits…that is if we are truly committed to Bermudians First.

    • .am says:

      Do you think the people living and working here would have voted for brexit and/or Trump?

  6. ralph says:

    If thats wat he said it’s going to take to do a full scale comprehensive reform is 3 month. You will have to wait. Different dimension from a pathways to status to a full comprehensive immigration reform dont u think.

  7. JH says:

    People with prc expecting status can think again. PLP won’t touch status with a pole. They will simply put it on the back burner. Tweed will get his, anyone else, not so much. Even mixed status and born here. They may as well pack now.

  8. Nikon says:

    Why don’t we make our immigration laws exactly like The Caymen Isl. That way they can boast no advantage and the elitist IB professional can cry no foul…

  9. peter says:

    you can get what you want in this world with money and the right lawyer …look at OJ

  10. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Rev Tweed would have the give up his USA citizen ship then apply from British citizenship first then apply for status and eventually to apply to become a Naturalizes Bermuda citizen and be referred by the Brits as a B.O.T. British Overseas Territorial citizen.

    Junk Yard Dog is a Sandys born B.O.T.

    • Let there be hope says:

      No he does not have to give up his US. You can have duel citizenship.

  11. TGAOTU says:

    PLP hates foreigners but unless they like them, what a crock of nonsense. plp just waited to get back in power to flash race in our faces and ears for the next 4 years, AGAIN.

  12. Rocky5 says:

    Min. Brown:- “principle” = give us a little time to find a loophole to give Rev. Tweed status, then carry on as usual… Of course smart lawyers will then use same loophole for others. PLP – no, no that was just for ” our people, NOT you PEOPLE!!”

  13. Cow Polly says:

    The Minister will go down the same route as before, he was on the working group after all, however he needs to dress it up differently to appease his voters. At the end of the day, they will accept recommendations from him and not his predecessor even if they are the same recommendations.

  14. HALF HOT says:

    They’re back!

    I know spelling police!

  15. wildcat says:

    Walton doesn’t even know what to do for immigration. It seems the PLP just wanted to win; they don’t really care about the future of Bermuda.

  16. Protect Jobs! says:

    I always read about how term limits would destroy Bermuda. I understand that we may need to accommodate a CEO with international experience as he and his company may provide jobs for Bermudians. But what is wrong with term limits for waiters, kitchen help, beach attendants, seamstresses, cooks ……. . We have work permit holders here doing manual or semi-skilled labour jobs who have been here so long that their children who were born here and we paid to educate for 13 years (yes – we pay for ever child in public school) and who now feel entitled to live and work in Bermuda. Many of the offspring already work without work permits. Well once they are granted PRC or status, they will also apply for every internship and scholarship. Good bye to higher education for the smart young Bermudian child who can’t afford university. Soon these scholarships will be awarded to these children, who will be on paper be PRC holders or Bermudians. Just look at all the PRC children who are already granted scholarships, wait until there are hundreds or thousands more children eligible. Stop renewing these work permits so the problem doesn’t get anymore out of control!

    • Zevon says:

      What about Pastors? Different for them I guess. They’ve got to stay.

  17. The Juice says:

    For a country which is only 400 years, how quickly we have all forgotten that Bermuda was discovered and built up by persons from elsewhere. Go on and tell yoyr Grand or greatgrand parents that they were not deserving to remain on the island and make lives for themselves and the generations between you and them

  18. cpm says:

    We forget that we all came from somewhere else
    I find it strange that some of us like bash the Mother country but are happy to go and live there and claim whatever is available or send our gangsters there to cause trouble
    Lets also not forget that anyone working here pays payroll tax which goes to running the Government including schools
    We also need to remember that the judiciary run the Island not the Government so when Tweed gets status via a loophole lawyers will be waiting in the wings