Group Urges Progress On Immigration Reform

November 6, 2018 | 23 Comments

[Updated] The ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform’ group has again urged the Government to “fulfill its own stated promise of comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform,” saying that “the public has no knowledge about the current state of immigration reform.”

A spokesperson said, “The individuals behind the ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform’ Facebook group and our members would like to welcome Wayne Caines as the new Minister responsible for Immigration.

“Mr. Caines has a big role to fill as he is now the 4th Minister of Immigration since discussions about Comprehensive Immigration Reform started,” the group added, saying that the four Ministers have been Minister Caines, Walton Brown, Patricia Gordon Pamplin and Michael Fahy.

The group’s comments follow after the Cabinet Shuffle last week, which saw responsibility for immigration change from Minister Walton Brown to Minister Wayne Caines.

“Unfortunately, the public has no knowledge about the current state of immigration reform,” a spokesperson added.

“It has now been 12 months since the Consultative Immigration Reform Working Group submitted their report to the previous Minister of Immigration. He in turn set up another parliamentary committee on immigration reform and previously said that legislation would be passed by February 2018.

“Since February, we have constantly questioned the Ministry on progress since no meetings or interim reports have been released. The failure to communicate anything leaves us to assume that no milestones have been reached.

“We were advised in July that the committee was in the final stages of producing recommendations to be included in their document to be reviewed by cabinet.

“As of today, nothing further has been released to the public about immigration reform besides yet another promise of more information down the road. Weeks turn to months; and months to years. Two and a half years later and no reforms have been published or announced. All this, despite the initiative being part of the PLP’s platform.

“With recent headlines concerning a declining birth rate, shrinking working population, and greater demand to be placed by seniors on pension funds, the need to grow our population is clear. It is in the interests of all Bermudians to have more people paying into our seniors’ social safety net and to ensure that future generations are protected.

“One of the simplest solutions would be to expand opportunities to obtain Bermudian status to long term residents – especially those that were born here or who have known no other home.

“These are people who have already demonstrated a commitment to Bermuda. They are already here and have contributed to our society. Many of these people also have immediate Bermudian family members and have grown up as a Bermudian.

“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.”

On a separate but related note, last night the Government said that Minister of National Security Wayne Caines met with industry stakeholders to discuss immigration policy and procedures.

In a statement last night, Minister Caines said, “With the Ministry of National Security taking on the responsibilities of Immigration, I immediately began familiarizing myself with the key stakeholders in that space.

“On Friday I made it a point to meet with the Chief Immigration Officers’ entire Department of Immigration Team, the Chairman of the Immigration Board, Renee Ming, JP, MP, and today I met with several industry stakeholders.”

According to the Ministry those in attendance included the Association of Bermuda International Companies’ Richard Winchell, Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers Director of Policy and Regulation Suzanne Williams-Charles, Chief Immigration Officer Dr. Dannette Ming, Chairman of the Immigration Board MP Renee Ming, Bermuda Business Development Agency’s Sean Moran and Jereme Ramsay, Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers’ Thomas Olunloyo, Bermuda Hotel Association’s Stephen Todd, Bermuda Insurance Management Association’s Adrienne E. Hintz, Vice Chairman Bermuda Chamber of Commerce/D&J Construction Dennis Fagundo, Executive Director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce Kendaree Burgess, and President of the Bermuda Employers’ Council, Keith Jensen.

Minister Caines continued, “I made it clear in this meeting that my office is always open and available to meet with them to discuss any concerns they may have regarding any application process.”

“The key point I spoke of is maintaining the delicate balance of ensuring transparency, fairness and a seamless process for expatriate workers while ensuring Bermudians are given the opportunity to grow and develop in local and international business. Bermuda will be a place where everyone has equal access to opportunity, thus ensuring a cooperative relationship between businesses and Bermudians.”

“These consultative meetings will continue as it is important to hear the views and opinions of all key stake holders.”

Update 11.41am: Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said, “It was the intention of this government to deliver legislation in February, however as a result of ongoing critical analysis by the Bi-Partisan Immigration Working Group, it was advised this be postponed to ensure delivery of comprehensive legislation that fully encompasses Bermuda’s needs.”

“As the Minister now responsible for immigration, moving this legislation forward is a priority for me. I will continue the good work of Minister Brown and put forward sound legislation that is in the best interest of all Bermuda.”

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Comments (23)

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  1. ace bie says:

    This from Caines: “These consultative meetings will continue as it is important to hear the views and opinions of all key stake holders.”

    Does this mean more consultation on top of the Immgration Reform Group’s report?

  2. Stephen Thomson says:

    Declining population and aging population kills business. If business is shrinking they can’t and won’t hire.
    Population growth creates jobs.
    Immigration growth is critical to Bermuda’s success.
    It’s way way past time.
    The sensible and logical thing to do is to immediately welcome and give status to PRC’c.
    They are the ones committed to Bermuda. They are the ones that have been here for over 30 years.
    Wow, is it really that complicated?
    We are ridiculously slow moving and it’s killing the island.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      ~Wow, is it really that complicated? ~

      When you’re trying to figure out how to get their money without giving them the vote , then yes it is that complicated.

    • sandgrownan says:

      You forgot to add, stop being dicks with work permit applications.

    • WHAT? says:

      You sound just like Micheal Fahy former Immigration Minister.The same person who the OBA distance themselves from the last election. The same person who cause the OBA with this stupid idea/push to lose the election. White and black Bermudians did not like his views. The new OBA doesn’t even want him in the party.

      • sandgrownan says:

        You don’t have to like it, fact is, it’s the only thing that will save Bermuda. Why can’t you get that in your skull?

    • Stand For Truth says:

      Stephen Thomson the population would not be ageing if there was not intentional economic warfare/terrorism waged against those whose ancestors built this Island with their blood, sweat and tears and are leaving the Island even though they have degrees and are not being hired.

      They are being told they are over qualified or under qualified. And then those same immigrants who have come here and got their status and now have businesses look to employ other immigrants, or they pay slave wages, which no Bermudian in their right mind would survive off.

      They only group of people who are spreading this propaganda are certain people and then who have some people who would like to be them regurgitating the same propaganda.

      These same people would like Bermuda to become the next Monte Carlo.

      • sandgrownan says:

        That’s a whole pile of hatred filled stupidity right there.

      • Boob hoo says:

        wow, another moron.
        The reason you’re not successful, Stand for truth, is because you’re stupid.
        Stop blaming everyone else for your failures, take some responsibility and do for yourself.

      • Ok says:

        So then why don’t u protest about d owners and not d govt. protest d owners of businesses that employ foreigners. Everyone’s ancestors built this bih!

  3. Skytrain says:

    Well said Mr.Thomson !!

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform’ group has again urged the Government to “fulfill its own stated promise …”

    Uh huh. Since when does any government fulfil its election promises?

  5. Me says:

    They are busy funding Dr Brown and fighting equality

  6. DeOnion says:

    This:
    Update 11.41am: Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said, “It was the intention of this government to deliver legislation in February, however as a result of ongoing critical analysis by the Bi-Partisan Immigration Working Group, it was advised this be postponed to ensure delivery of comprehensive legislation that fully encompasses Bermuda’s needs.”

    OK so it was postponed from February to when?

    • question says:

      It translates to ” blah blah blah we could not be bothered to do it”.

  7. That PRESSURE GROUP, I am sure, is looking out for its own well-being.
    That group MUST NOT forget in the P.L.P.’s platform speech: Bermudians must come first. Whatever/Where ever these persons from this group are from, I cannot go to their country to implement ANYTHING.
    My suggestion for this group is: WAIT!! WAIT!!

    • wayne says:

      If the PLP continue down this route, then Bermudians will indeed come first, because they will be the only ones left, and there will still be no jobs for them.

      Then Bermuda will really be in trouble.

  8. Ringmaster says:

    It reminds me of that part of Pretty Woman and the destroyer contract. “There’ll be no contract”. The PLP do not want reform nor can they sell it to their voters.

  9. Observer says:

    Will the current minister and his team ensure that the stakeholders and there colleague’s have strategic plans to transition Bermudians into the roles filled by the expatriates filling them.

  10. Goldie Locks says:

    Why go through al this madness when you can simply marry for convenience. Like hundreds of some are doing.

  11. aceboy says:

    Remember all the protesters with signs calling for Comprehensive Immigration Reform? The funny thing is that they assumed it meant to make sure those horrible “foreigners” didn’t get status. Now the PLP are in a bit of a sticky position. That ISN’T what immigration reform was about and they will have some explaining to do to those protesters.

  12. Concerned Bermudian says:

    Bermudians must be put first. Ask how many children of PRC holders get scholarshIps and internships, while Bermudian children are left out in the cold, black and white? Who is securing positions in the exempt company world? The kid from public school who went to Bermuda College and then scrapped their way overseas to complete a degree? Or the PRC holders kid who went to private, boarding school and the finest Universities? The Bermudian kid at public school is also up against the Filipino and other foreign nationality children who think they have a right to jobs because their parents have been allowed to stay and do low paying jobs. Well guess what, their kids arent looking for low paying jobs because a free education in public school paid for by the Bermudian taxpayer, these kids parents have saved and sent them to university, made sure they got top grades and they are also looking to take those exempt company jobs. Careful Bermuda, this policy needs to grow the economy fair enough, but it also needs to protect Bermudian children educated or not, might have a hard time to find a job.

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