Immigration Group Applauds Court Decision

January 16, 2019 | 19 Comments

The individuals behind the ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform‘ group said they “would like to applaud the Honourable Chief Justice for his decision recently to invalidate a $5,000 fine imposed on Ms Ashley Aguiar for taking unpaid work.”

“It is surreal that a young woman born in Bermuda and who has lived here for all 22 years of her life would need a work permit to take unpaid, unstructured work in order to get experience. We are confident that Hargun CJ was just applying the law, and the outcome was undoubtedly the right one,” a spokesperson said.

“Ms Aguiar’s story shows exactly why Comprehensive Immigration Reform is needed. There is a growing class of people in Bermuda who for all intents and purposes are Bermudian through and through, and who know no other home.

“Bermuda continues to be one of the only jurisdictions in the world where no possibility for any form of status exists for people born here or who have lived here for their entire lives. This is a tragedy which puts Bermuda in breach of its international legal obligations.

“We echo Ms Aguiar’s hope that her experience inspires changes to the immigration laws. Many people like her are already here and have contributed to our society. Many also have immediate Bermudian family members and have grown up as a Bermudian.

“Not only is it the right thing to, it is also in Bermuda’s economic self-interest to not lose its long-term residents. As the Fiscal Responsibility Panel stated recently in their 2018 Assessment:

“Reforming immigration practices and policy. A precondition for faster growth is to increase the island’s workforce. It is the only realistic counter to the island’s demographic challenge from a rapidly shrinking and ageing population. Immigrants and returning Bermudians with the right skills will help to create jobs, not displace them.”

“The public remain in the dark about what the Government’s plans are. It has been almost three years since legislation was tabled to provide for Pathways to Status. 19 months have passed since the current Government was elected and promised reform.

“15 months ago, the Consultative Immigration Reform Working Group submitted their report to the previous Minister. We were also told that 11 months ago, legislation would have been tabled.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs had advised in July 2018 that the bipartisan committee were 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. Weeks have turned into months; months into years.

“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 full judgement follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (19)

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  1. Red rose says:

    Immigration reform? You are kidding right? Because of its divisive election slogans this government is totally stuck on immigration.

  2. Johnny B says:

    Bermuda needs more foreigners on our shores if we want to survive. Also, avoid the incest thing that seems to be happening.

  3. J J says:

    Please write to Lord Ahmad at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He recently spoke about the lack of human rights around immigration in the Overseas Territories at the Parliamentary Enquiry in London.

    As the son of an immigrant he understands how out of step the Bermuda Government is with modern values.

    We wait for Minister Cains and hope that he can put right the injustice and deep anxiety for those born here who identify as Bermudian.

    Lord Ahmad is fully aware that our glacial pace of change is not good enough.

  4. 2 Bermudas says:

    This gov’t is extending the OBA’s Immigration Policy by giving out work permits to any new business. Maybe the Pee El Pee are more liberal when it comes to immigration than we thought? They are just trying to figure out a way to get their money but not give them the right to vote!!

  5. Kenneth Foggo says:

    Isn’t this the same thing as pathways to status?
    Isn’t this the same thing them people protested about years ago?
    Isn’t this the same thing people were pepper sprayed for?

    Idiots!

  6. dawn DeRerd says:

    I am quite amazed that this has not been appealed by Government

  7. sage says:

    Why was the girl fined $5000 yet there is no mention of any punishment for the employer who allegedly hired an illegal worker, were they not charged with anything when the young lady was?

  8. Goldie Locks says:

    All these people living here by marriage of covenice and you want to pick on little Portuguese-bda girl Immigration do your job

  9. Unfair practices. She should have been penalized severely.
    The wrong chief justice serves this country!!

  10. I think not! says:

    So paid internships the used to go to Bermudian children will now be able to go to children of work permit holders as unpaid internships? So then when these Non-Bermudian children graduate from University they will get beat out Bermudian graduates for jobs in their own country because they will have the experience? How is this ruling good for Bermuda? The Immigration Department need to meet with the judge.

    • politricks says:

      Her parents are not work permit holders…

    • question says:

      My born Bermudian son worked for free at a government department last summer, willingly and gladly, to gain valuable experience. So when he looks for a job he will hopefully have more experience than the other applicants.
      See how it works?

  11. Rhonda says:

    When you continue to kick the can down the road tbis is what you get…

    The urgency of now is in the Black Community.. yet everyone else is making progress.

    While we complain.

    If we choose not to stand up and take our rightful place in society… we will continue to be left behind..

    Talk is cheap…

    You can’t expect a positive outcome when you’re collaborating with those who don’t share your vision..

    This working group is a trojan horse for pathways to status

    Black Bermudian are the toads in the pot slowly being cooked..

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