Group Urges Government To Reform Immigration

July 25, 2018 | 50 Comments

The ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform’ group is urging the Government to “fulfill its own stated promise of comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform to correct the injustices and divisions that exists within many families in Bermuda.”

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A spokesperson said, “The individuals behind the ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform’ Facebook group and our members are concerned with the recent comments from the Honourable Premier that 20 out of his party’s 21 electoral pledges have been completed. We believe that this statement misleads as we have yet to hear any news on the completion of bipartisan immigration reform.

“In the PLP’s platform, it was promised that they would ‘Complete comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform to ensure that the rights of Bermudians are advanced and protected, while recognizing the need to grow our economy with fair and balanced work permits and residential policies.’

“As we have stated before, nothing has been released to the public since October 31, 2017 about immigration reform and we have speculated that this promise may never be completed if the government continues to stall with a resolution.

“Immigration is affecting Bermudians. We have Bermudians who cannot pass their Bermudian status to their children. If the PLP is to uphold their slogan of ‘Putting Bermudians First’ they have to look at correcting this injustice. It is also affecting people born in Bermuda who have become thoroughly Bermudianized, and who know no other home.

“As we have stated before, we believe that fair immigration reform should address the following categories of persons:

  • [1] Persons who were born in Bermuda or who arrived at a young age
  • [2] Persons who have a substantial family connection to someone who already has Bermudian Status
  • [3] Persons who have become thoroughly integrated into Bermudian society through their long-term presence in Bermuda
  • [4] Persons who have otherwise made a significant contribution to Bermudian society that they are deserving of recognition

“We once again implore and urge the Government to fulfill its own stated promise of comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform to correct the injustices and divisions that exists within many families in Bermuda,” the group added.

In response, the Ministry said, “As we have previously indicated, the Consultative Immigration Reform Working Group [CIRWG] released its report on 31st October 2017 recommending principles and recommendations in relation to mixed status families, permanent resident’s certificates and Bermudian status.

“This report is now being used by the Bipartisan Immigration Committee who are continuing to recommend reforms of the Bermuda Immigration & Protection Act and its relevant policies.

“The Bipartisan Committee on Immigration Reform are looking at a broad set of issues regarding immigration reform, such as, work permit legislation and policies, land ownership and establishing key definitions such as ‘domicile’ and ‘ordinary residence.’

“The convening of the bi-partisan group was a Throne Speech initiative from 2017. We are in the final stages of producing recommendations to be included in the consultative document that will be produced and submitted to Cabinet for review.

“The Minister and the Committee will consider the wish list that they have provided.”

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Comments (50)

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  1. Hope says:

    Can the minister commit to any timelines on delivery of the recommendations? Or give information on how often the Bipartisan Committee on Immigration Reform have met since October 2017? How many hours have they spent deliberating this subject? What topics have been discussed? All of this information should be readily available based on the agenda and minutes from these meetings….if they occurred.

  2. SayItAintSo says:

    Seems like they are letting a lot of people slide through the system while they deliberate. Crazy how many people are getting status at the moment.

    • sandgrownan says:

      How many is that? Absolute numbers or % of applicants please?

      And, if you can stop dribbling fro a moment, what is actually wrong with that?

    • Rich says:

      Those are just legacy applications under 20B.

  3. Little girl says:

    Meanwhile whilst this drags on and with no resolution in sight ,there are people who’s lives are shattered . Children who are born here and now have deep ties to Bermuda cannot get on with their lives because they do not know where to turn or settle . Do they leave and fear that they will never be allowed back to be with their families and live on the island they call home ?Do they stay out of fear of never being able to return and give up the opportunity to gain education and expierience abroad knowing if they leave they may never be allowed back .We have young adults that are now culturally Bermudian ,many with family members that have status but are now being told after a lifetime of living and growing up here that they don’t belong . Absolute travesty !

    • Double S says:

      Unfortunately, our right-wing Government has no interest and no empathy for the likes of such people. Now if they looked different it would be a different story. They don’t consider most people in such a predicament to be human much less Bermudian.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      The people you are talking about are not “real Bermudians”

      • Anbu says:

        If you are born and raised in bermuda then u are a bermudian. Seriously? Will someone please for once identify what an actual “real bermudian” is. We see way too much use of the term and im pretty sure nobody has a clue what it is. Not attacking u joe just wondering what the actual term “real bermudian” is.

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          I would say the last remaining “real Bermudians” would be the Bermuda cedar trees and Warwick skinks. Everyone else is an import, from Sir George Summers to the Uighurs and beyond.

          • Toodle-oo says:

            You’re thinking of the Bermuda skink , they are endemic to Bermuda. The Warwick lizard was introduced by accident sometime in the 1950′s

  4. Jim Bob says:

    Can they also get rid of PRC under the job makers act as well? This has arguably been one of the most regressive policies and only serves to keep and protect expat jobs. It appears that the OBA was giving it to just about anyone and whilst it appears good in theory I know that it has taken away many jobs from Bermudians. Get rid of the job makers act. It is a broken Act.

    • Retro says:

      How is it possible ,that in the year of 2018, that somebody could have such a myopic view of economics ! We have already had a shrinking of the expat population. It proved to be disastrous to the economy and we are most definitely still paying the price for that. Also, if memory serves me correct the job makers act was a Plp policy.

      • Double S says:

        Xenophobia and racism don;t need common sense. They thrive off of myopic views.

        And the hilarious thing is that these are the same commentators who hate Trump and purportedly loved Obama, despite the fact that they subscribe to the former’s ideology.

    • sandgrownan says:

      “.. know that it has taken away many jobs from Bermudians…”

      You’re going to have to provide evidence for such an idiotic statement.

  5. Time Shall Tell says:

    More important topics on the table at the moment, wait in line.

    • Answer says:

      And yet the FIRST THING the PLP did when getting power was to grant a work permit to someone who had been turned down by Dept Immigration.
      Two Bermudas.

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        So are you for the granting or are you against it? Or is it more important to you who it was granted to?

        • Answer says:

          You’re the one who said there are more important topics. Like fighting court cases to restrict human rights, that sort of thing.
          Yes, I’m for immigration reform. That doesn’t mean doing soecial favours for personal friends of Chris Furbert.

          • Time Shall Tell says:

            If you followed PLP’s history from when they very first entered power, their first order then was to addess the issue of imigration. This was after the then UBP failed to address the the issue, funny how history repeats. Again you’re either for it or against it, why would you say you’re for it but grumble about it happening.. Can’t please everyone I guess.

    • zzzzz says:

      Yes and no. The economy and inward investment are probably at or near the top of the list with education. One issue this island has is retaining money earned in Bermuda within the local economy. Those without long term ties to the island are not going to invest here so immigration and the economy are very closely linked. Obviously it’s a balancing act for the government of the day, fortunately David Burt is a smart man and will hopefully be able to navigate the middle ground for Bermuda’s long term benefit.

      Unfortunatly education is a much harder nut to crack particularly with our largely racially segregated system.

    • gotcha says:

      Oh yes. Important things like changing the dates of public holidays. Passing legislation to restrict human rights. Funding government litigation to challenge human rights. Much more pressing stuff.

    • Well if you know about Bermuda’s History of gentrfication (influx of Europeans to conter the growing Black population), I would say this is an important subject.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Every day, when I think Onion Vomit cannot get any more stupid, he/she astounds me again!

      • Knowledge Is Power says:

        You only see black and white. The past was messed up. We learn from other people’s mistakes, evolve and move forward positively. There will be people that hate but why add yourself to that group? Communication is key. If the past didn’t happen you most likely wouldn’t have been born and/or Bermuda could have been settled by Russians. Who knows. Why can’t we all get along? You have so much hate. Why don’t you comment on the positive news for once sourpuss. We are blessed living on the tip of this ancient dormant volcano that I Love to call home. Peace and Love!

  6. mixitup says:

    fine.. But do not reward anyone who has slighted the law with some companies help by having their “Work Permit” rolled and rolled and rolled, all while that qualified Bermudian could not get that job…. not to mention the guest workers brother or girlfriend also working here, this while the Bermudian has to find opportunities in the U.K.
    What people don’t realize is that there are many people on this Island and have been on this Island via overstayed permits or by the Boss “doing a favor.” This has to be tightened up before any immigration reform happens.

    • Anbu says:

      You meen like tweed? Sorry genevieve.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Fair enough, but this story is not about Rev. Tweed.

    • bda66 says:

      opportunities in the UK … you mean signing on the dole getting housing benefit, dole etc without contributing a penny to the UK government. I think that if somebody from Bermuda goes to the UK and signs on for benefits the social insurance from Bermuda should be transferred to the UK government.

  7. aceboy says:

    That poor woman who starved herself on smoothies while sitting on the Hill almost died in her quest for comprehensive immigration reform!

    • bda66 says:

      lots of laughs … it is called the Bermuda diet …

      • aceboy says:

        If you asked any of those sign carriers who were squawking for Comprehensive Immigration Reform what that actually meant, I’ll bet the answer would have been “To keep those foreigners out”.

  8. Real Talk says:

    Persons who were born in Bermuda or who arrived at a young age.
    Definition = every work permit holders child!!!!

    Persons who have become thoroughly integrated into Bermudian society through their long-term presence in Bermuda.
    Definition = every work permit holder!!!

    Persons who have otherwise made a significant contribution to Bermudian society that they are deserving of recognition.
    Definition = every work permit holder!!!

    Now look back and ask michael fahy oba/UBP how this worked for him!! They didn’t even run the man in the election because it agitated so many Bermudians. Brought the entire island to a STOP!!! Things like this cost the OBA the last election. We had white and black Bermudians objecting to this crazy talk.

    Now back to Cup Match which is something we all can enjoy:)

    • sandgrownan says:

      The fact remains that there is a declining population, and we need to broaden the tax base to pay for the 14 years of incompetence and current “grand plan”. For that you need demand for goods and services, it’s basic economics basically, and you need to encourage people to stay in Bermuda. You need to grow the population.

      Despite the pissing and moaning of the “combined opposition” during the last Parliament, and bs about birthright and “real Bermudians” that still remains the reality.

      • hmmmm says:

        THE FACT REMAINS THAT STUPID IDEAS LIKE THIS COST THE OBA THE LAST ELECTION BUT SINCE YOU RECEIVED YOUR STATUS FROM THE SAME EQUATION YOU WOULDN’T THINK LIKE THAT. RIGHT X MINISTER??

        • bda66 says:

          real talk gross exaggerations .. not ever wp child. That is not what is being suggested, nor every expat … It brought the island to a stop because it wasn’t ‘sold’ correctly. plus it was like a bull in a china shop. Sort mixed status families, sort BOTC status, sort 20 plus years residents, etc …

          The lack of immigration reform is costing Bermuda money as companies are going as the long term residents 25 years plus are going somewhere where there isn’t bigotry and xenophobic attitudes

    • Anbu says:

      Cant all enjoy cupmatch tho. Burch wont allow it.

  9. watching says:

    An election platform promise is something that will be done within the term of 5 years. It has only been 1 year. Just because the immigration reform hasn’t begun doesn’t mean work isn’t happening behind the scenes, and for this group to apply public pressure seems like they have ulterior motives. let the Minister and his team do their research and come up with their proposed policies and then respond accordingly.

    • gotcha says:

      Given that they hardly promised anything it’s amazing they haven’t achieved everything yet.
      The only things they promised were to ‘set up a committee for this’ and ‘review that’. Big deal.
      They did promise to review the airport contract and change it to get better terms, but we understand Burt only promised that because he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘contract’.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “An election platform promise is something that will be done within the term of 5 years.”

      Really? That is not how I interpret election platform promises … I consider them to be empty rhetoric designed to get my vote.

    • Retro says:

      Uh, except that they did campaign against immigration reform. Unless you believe the People’s Campaign and the PLP had nothing to do with each other,of course.

    • Bluebird says:

      I’m guessing you didn’t read the article completely. The PLP promised to complete immigration reform in their platform. For the Premier to state that he completed 20 out of 21 of his pledges is false because he never mentioned that the one he never completed was immigration. In fact he never speaks about immigration reform or where it stands. How do you know immigration reform is happening behind the scenes because the only people that we hear from about immigration is from this group. Just like pressure was applied to other issues why can’t it be applied to immigration reform? Would you say all those other issues that the PLP applied pressure to was an ulterior motive.

  10. inna says:

    You mean the pressure group Peoples Campaign? They seem to have disappeared.. just like the mold in the schools.

    Funny how a change in government results in a change in attitudes!!

  11. Larry M says:

    So let me get this straight. We have a group of immigrants telling our government what it needs to do to facilitate their selfish agenda according to what they feel is ‘fair’? At least two of the categories they propose for status would not even be considered in many other jurisdictions as they are just too vague and ambiguous. Basically a ‘let anyone who applies’ enjoy status.

    • Retro says:

      Agenda? Who has an agenda? Kids that have never lived anywhere else? People who have contributed to society for many years ? Where does the conspiratol rhetoric come from ? If you can answer that last one that’s where you will find the people with agendas.

  12. Think before you Act says:

    Government think hard before you grant PRC or Status to work permit holders but more immediate is the need to undertake an investigation of non-Bermudian workers on Island breaking current immigration laws. There are many non-Bermudian children of work permit holders working multiple jobs as is the work permit holder themselves. Immigration needs to start investigating. When the household spends more money than the household has in earnings from the work permit holder and his/her one job, an investigation needs to be undertaken. How does someone earning minimum earnings as a busboy or gardener as per their work permit, have enough money to spend their children to college off the Island? That should trigger an investigation.

  13. Dae says:

    They are too busy with burtcoinand they don’t care

  14. campervan says:

    Cayman is eating ya lunch.
    We just keep shipping the expats out.
    Its crazy.
    Many jobs are mobile. Dont we get it yet?
    Are we not hurting enough yet?
    How long before the res pop is 40k and health insurance is 3k a month pp?
    Think beyond the knee jerk anti expat reaction.

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