Column: Fahy On “Birthright And What’s Right”

July 15, 2015

michael fahy OBA 2015[Opinion column written by Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy]

A few weeks ago on the Motion to Adjourn in the Senate, I spoke about a word the Opposition Progressive Labour Party has begun to use a lot, especially in connection with matters concerning immigration. The word is birthright.

I challenged them to define it, because it’s a slippery sort of word in the first place, and in Bermuda Immigration matters it has little meaning.

You don’t necessarily become a Bermudian by birth. If, at birth your parents don’t satisfy the requirements of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956, then you don’t necessarily get the right to live here.

A great many of our population are Bermudians who weren’t born here. In Bermuda law, there is no difference between a Bermudian by birth and a Bermudian by status. They enjoy equal rights. So what birthright can one Bermudian have that another doesn’t have?

There is no question that this country was built by born and bred Bermudians who worked alongside Bermudians who were not born and bred in Bermuda – people who we can say, without fear of contradiction, have been some of our most productive and valuable citizens.

The word birthright separates these Bermudians, even though by law they share the same rights and privileges of those who seek to scapegoat them. It’s upsetting that we have to hear about birthright when all of us know about people who do not, or did not have it, who are respected for their contributions. Labour leader Dr. E.F. Gordon is one. He was not born in Bermuda, but his ideas were progressive and right for Bermuda at the time and he’s now part of Bermuda’s history and folklore. Former Premier Paula Cox was born in Canada.

Bermudians have all come to Bermuda by choice, by force, by birth or by accident. We’re all here. And if some of us weren’t born here but have spent time and invested in the community, at some point there has to be an opportunity to be part of what we have lived by becoming Bermudian and enjoying the rights and privileges of being a Bermudian. Not taking away from Bermudians that are already here, but demonstrating their willingness and commitment to be with the rest of us – strengthening the Bermudian community through their contributions.

I hope people realise that defining people by birth is no different than the concept of the plus vote back in the 1950s and 60’s, which made some voters more valuable than others.

The Progressive Labour Party uses the word ‘birthright’ politically, to inflame passions. They want people to believe that the One Bermuda Alliance Government is determined to advance the interests of “foreigners” at the expense of the interests of “Bermudians”.

That’s not only not true, it makes no sense politically – a democratically elected government working against the interests of the people who elected it? It’s one of those political lies that the Opposition hopes will return it to power if they can just repeat it often enough. It certainly appears to me that in the Bermuda context, in Opposition-Speak, the “foreigner”/” Bermudian” divide is really about race.

The Opposition’s strategy on this matter polarises the people of this country, and makes it very difficult for us act and think as if we are simply Bermudians. We live in a constant state of anger and enmity in large part because of the Progressive Labour Party rhetoric, which is designed to divide Bermudians.

I find it extraordinary that individual members of the Opposition, who I know to be decent, upright people, would go along with this cynical strategy, especially when many members of the Opposition were either born overseas, had parents overseas, are married to someone from overseas or whose children were born overseas. I find it amazing that the population of this country accepts the hypocrisy.

We have an awful lot of work to do in Bermuda about race, whether we’re PLP, OBA, “new” white Bermuda, “old” white Bermuda, “new” black Bermuda, or “old” black Bermuda. Much remains to be done by people of all different stripes, ages and ideas. A good place to start would be in recognising that there aren’t Bermudians with a birthright and Bermudians without one. Such a concept would be an outrage in any democratic community.

It’s time for all of us – PLP included – to move beyond that way of thinking.

- Michael Fahy


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Comments (295)

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  1. watching says:

    Premier Fahy needs to take a break!
    He has no connection to Bermuda and therefore no affinity for it. He just wants to get what he can and control what he can.
    He disgusts me.

    • Billy Mays says:

      You, “watching” are very much part of the problem here.

      • Ed Case says:

        Watching but obviously with eyes and ears closed.

        Ignorance has no boundary.

        • Ringmaster says:

          Rather telling that this piece has, at 6.48pm, 136 comments compared to the piece penned under Marc Bean’s name concerning Bermudians and job opportunities has got 11.
          Jobs seem to be of little interest, or why aren’t the PLP regulars on there praising Marc for his ideas and solutions to create jobs for Bermudians?

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Probably because his piece had no ideas on how to create jobs

            • watchmen says:

              And the OBA has done a fantastic job at that…

              • Build a Better Bermuda says:

                They have reduced the number of job losses from somewhere around 8000 over the PLP’s last 5 year period to 800 in the first 2 and half years of their tenure.

    • North Rock says:

      You cannot be serious…or taken seriously. This man, whatever your politics, has done more for Bermuda than you or half the noisy, negative bloggers will EVER do. In my opinion, he hit the nail on the head…in yours, maybe not.

      But to state publicly that Mike Fahy has no affinity ???? So Paula G., Sir Edward Richards and Dr Gordon…they had no affinity ?

      You make Everest sound like a Rhodes scholar

    • Onion juice says:

      Using Dr. Gordon dont give you browny points, he fought against ideology’s like yours.
      As a matter of fact you are an incarnation of the Oligarchy.

      • Ed Case says:

        But was Dr Gordon a real Bermudian or just a paper one. Yes or no?

        • Spit Bouy says:

          Ed Case,

          Spot on, Que Crickets.

          If Dr. Gordon was alive today I bet he’d be embarrassed by the level of discussion & the attitudes by the likes of OJ & watching on this.

          • Onion Juice says:

            Obviously you don’t have a clue about the History or legacy of Dr. Gordon, and if he where here today he would be standing side by side with Rev. Tweed.
            Invest in the book “The History of the Bermuda Industrial Union” on page 16, second paragraph where he states and I quote, Therefore, the white Bermudian colonialist or oligarchs who acted in close concert, knew who was who, and what was what.
            Dr. Gordon found Bermuda not only to be different, as was an ingrained local boast, but it was indifferent. The” whites were nasty to say least”. They felt secure in their ability to control all facets of the island’s economic, political and social affairs through merciless intimidation, victimization and abuse of the political and legal process. Their most potent weapon was the limited, land-based franchise that for generations they brazenly manipulated and rigged in devious ways during parochial and parliamentary elections.
            So as you were saying, never mind History class is over.
            Even though he was a WELL qualified doctor he was prevented by the racist Hospital Board to work in our Hospital so he became a Freedom Fighter for the people.
            Do your HOMEWORK before you try to think.

      • hmmm says:

        Explain how Fahy is an incarnation of the Oligarchy Onion Juice…

        We’d all like to hear how you came to this conclusion.

        • serengeti says:

          He’s just happy he got the word ‘oligarchy’ in. It’s been nearly three days since he used it.

    • Trulytruly says:

      Poppycock! I have a school yearbook with a photo of Michael Fahy in it from the 1980′s as a young teen. He grew up here and although he might not think like you he is working hard to make Bermuda a better place for all. As a Bermudian myself, he has my full support.

    • Devonshire says:

      The guy is Bermudian and has lived here since he was a toddler. He was born in Canada…just like former Premier Cox… but somehow you think he has less of a connection to Bermuda. Wrong political party; wrong skintone, eh?

      • stupidity says:

        Fahy born I Canada to Canadian parents.

        Paula Cox born in Canada to both Bermudian parents.

        How are they the same?

        Fahy is WRONG and Need to be removed immediately

        • AF87 says:

          Your name is soooo accurate, Stupidity!

        • James says:

          “How are they the same?”

          They’re both BERMUDIAN, that’s how!

        • serengeti says:

          And then he lived here since he was a baby.

        • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

          I don’t believe there is any difference. If someone holds Bermudian citizenship they are Bermudian, end story.

          However, I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and go with your sort of thinking.

          Fahy’s parents moved to Bermuda.
          Cox’s parents left Bermuda.
          Which shows greater dedication to the country?

    • Cranberry says:

      Oh dear “Watching” your xenophobia is showing…

    • Unearthed says:

      “They want people to believe that the One Bermuda Alliance Government is determined to advance the interests of “foreigners” at the expense of the interests of ‘Bermudians’.”

      I’m sorry to say that is exactly what’s happening in Bermuda these days. Didn’t the ombudsman have to get involved with a simple job/work permit dispute the other day and sided with the employer? On the other hand, how many inflated job descriptions do we see in the paper for expats and what have you done as the Minister to correct the issue? How many jobs are occupied with foreigners that Bermudians can do? Can you agree that job discrimination exists in Bermuda and companies prefer to hire expats in many cases? And what has the OBA done to correct these issues – nothing.

      We read the articles that are posted on news sites, and we hear about what policies you are changing which include: Abolishing Term-Limits and amending the work permit policy to advance the interests of foreigners. Yes we understand how IB works but it seems the OBA always puts foreigners first. In my view, the OBA is anti-Bermudian and pro foreigner. It would seem to most of us, the OBA is willing to sell Bermuda at the drop of a dime. That doesn’t sit right in the hearts and minds of Bermudians.

      Lastly, the OBA cannot write one article that doesn’t somehow try to denounce the PLP. They believe tarnishing the PLP makes the OBA look good. To be quite honest, you lose more support doing that because it shows lack of responsibility, lack of leadership and lack of accountability.

      • Onion says:

        Did you miss the part where the Bermudian was not qualified for the job?

        • Jim Jones says:

          or the article earlier today where Fahy outlined all the fines he was handing out for work permit violations?

        • Unearthed says:

          Did you miss the part where the ombudsman had to get involved? If it wasn’t that serious and the applicant wasn’t qualified, it would have never made it to the ombudsman and definitely not the Minister. There would have been no case to make. The complaint went through the proper channels and the Minister sided with the employer – the end.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            Did you miss the complaint the ombudsman made about the case, it wasn’t that the immigration dept failed to do their job, it wasn’t that the dept wrongfully ruled against the c.omplaintant… it was that the department wasn’t releasing their findings to the complainant for why they weren’t acting on her complaint to have the companies work permit application revoked. Further to the case, this same complainant was denied a human rights commission inquiry under the PLP, to a prior complaint about not being given a job because she was a Bermudian, because, again, it was found that she wasn’t qualified.

          • jt says:

            Not qualified and already cost us $300k

        • Non-xenophobe says:

          It is a bit hard to be qualified when the job description is made to match the foreign candidate. Before I am accused of being a PLP xenophobe, I am a white foreigner – Republican at that. So please don’t insult people stating “did you miss the part where the Bermudian was not qualified for the job”. Under the current standard, the only person deemed qualified is the employee, that is in most cases, is already selected Let us also not forget how many ads are deemed “work permit renewals”. This is pretty much common knowledge throughout the island. I was appalled the first time I heard that phrase. I actually saw an ad recently for a receptionist and the requirement was only a bachelor degree. Please – wonder why crime is increasing?????

          • alsys says:

            Obviously you haven’t kept up with this case. Not only was the candidate not qualified but they had failed several exams that would have been required by *anyone* wishing to do that particular job. I can assure you I would not have risked using that candidate for the job that they were incorrectly applying for.

          • jt says:

            How many times does a person have to fail the required exams to prove they aren’t qualified?

            • SMH says:

              Apparently even five times isn’t enough. I love the “Ombudsman had to get involved” yeah right, and she HAD to cc the person in question too. Everything about that was political

        • watchmen says:

          Did you miss the part where they closed the mailbox early in violation of the advertisement dates? If a “qualified” Bermudian had submitted their CV on that they would have missed it because the agency screwed up. That cannot be defended. Makes you think of how may times this could have happened potentially. And it is wrong that Fahy gets to decide who is qualified for a Job. That “Bermudian Professional” should hear of her lack of “qualification” from the Employer not Fahy? He is not the end all and be all.

    • Abyss says:

      You disgust me your stupidity. Fahy makes a clear, valid and honest point here; BERMUDIANS whether born on the island or not, ARE BERMUDIANS so why should foreign-born Bermudians be treated any different if they contribute to the wellbeing of society?

      It’s attitudes like yours that drag this country down. Shameful!

    • bandit says:

      Your comment disgusts me. This article is true and well written.

    • Enough Said says:

      Senetor Faye gets more arrogant by the minute. He himself is a Canadian with a privileged birthright. Then he comes to Bermuda and enjoys the fat of our country. Each time he makes a statement his attitude toward the Bermudian people gets a little worse. He seems to have an axe to grind toward born Bermudians.
      He and the OBA need to respond to the affidavit allegations. If the allegations were lobbied at PLP leaders OBA/UBP would be demanding answers. Remember The Housing Corporation. The OBA cannot be trusted and the same players keep coming up in underhanded situations.

      • jt says:

        Please clarify. You are saying that in your opinion born Bermudians have more rights than other Bermudians. Correct?

        • hmmm says:

          If they have more rights, then they should pay more tax !!

          Extra 5% of Gross income.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        How is he arrogant, he was brought here a baby, been raised here all his life, schooled, worked and contributed to society here all his life and carries a certificate saying he is Bermudian. How does that make him more arrogant or less Bermudian than someone who’s only got a certificate saying they are Bermudian because of the geography and lineage of their birth.
        Now for the affidavit, in has been over a month since Mr. Bean threw his little hissy and went to the police, so mining Mr. MacLean to bring his recordings with him to turn into the police. So in over a month of the police having these damning recordings, they apparently seem to have been unable to use them to build a case… do you know why that would be. There are a few reasons, and they all have to do with chain of evidence. How can the police validate their authenticity? What in them proves they are what they say they are, and not a couple of people reading a script, I suppose they could try and analyze the voices for some sort of voice match, they certainly have enough voice samples to work with… so why then haven’t they given a case to the DPP. Are they tape or electronic… tape would make it nearly impossible to authenticate without law enforcement witness. Electronic could mean they should have a time stamp to verify the dates, but the police would need the actual recording device as well for forensic examination and someone can just as easily change the date/time on the recording device to falsify the file time stamps. So how much validity do the recordings actually have?? Mr. Bean has been harping about them for over a year, and in all that time, he and Mr. MacLean seem to have seen it unimportant to actually turn these in?? For something they are so determined to highlight as condemning evidence of alleged widespread OBA corruption, they didn’t seem to think it was important to,report to the police the moment they got them… over 2 years ago now. Course, in releasing these to the public they don’t need police validation, the notion alone can be damaging enough, even if they aren’t real. Course the biggest irony in this is that the PLP have been condemning the OBA’s latest legal legislation as removing a defendant right to fair trail and assumption of innocence until proven guilty… and here they are trying to subvert the justice system for their own purposes. Isn’t self righteous hypocrisy fun.

      • Onion says:

        He is giving up a fortune personally by working as a Minister instead of working in private business.

        His work as a Minister is basically an act of charity.

    • Onion Juice says:

      So does him and his parents have birthrights?

    • Racism disease says:

      Watching! You totally disgust me and the many persons like you so angry at yourself that the only thing you can do is deflect on Minister Fahey. It is people like you that me me know without a doubt I would never ever vote for the PLP. The article above is so spot on and truthful, it just seems insane people like you continue with your racism. Just know there are many blacks who will not vote PLP. Why? We want a Government that won’t use race to divide people, we want a government who isn’t going to create more debt and we don’t want a Government of immature name callers who couldn’t rise to the level of representing all of Bermuda people. I am a black Bermudian who is embarrassed by persons like you.

    • Go Whistle says:

      and why does he have no connection to Bermuda??? You disgust me with your little mind. You are the reason why Bermuda cannot progress.

  2. lucky 7 says:

    Well said Minister Fahy! Keep at it.

    • Onion juice says:

      I guess you need to ask the Europeans that question when they stole the lands from indigenous people around the world.

      • hmmm says:

        !!!!!!!!!Random out of context divisive statement from Onion juice alert !!!!!!!

      • Spit Bouy says:


        So when those dastardly Europeans landed here who did they steal Bermuda from, was it from you and yours?

        The local gene pool could do with a massive dose of help today. LOL

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Why so specific, what about asking the Chinese, the Japanese, the Hutu, the Barbary and Ottoman, the Nubians, the Egyptians, the Sumerians, the….. seriously, the list goes on, throughout history, in every corner of the world, and still goes on today. It isn’t just a legacy of Europeans, it is a legacy of the worst of human nature.

        • Onion Juice says:

          Because Europeans out number all others around the world in that category.
          Prove me wrong

          • Ed says:

            You are an idiot – prove me wrong.

            • watchmen says:

              Deflection, Ed, proves you are incapable of disproving what he said. men have robbed, raped, pillaged and plundered more in these past two centuries than all of humanity before them. And continue to do so today under the guise of fighting “terrorists” or in aid to “humanitarian” interests.

              The underlying structure would be continued central banking hegemony and a eugenicist movement seeking to eradicate “lesser” races – their words not mine.

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            The Chinese communist regimes have seized countries like Tibet and many other bordering regions, more often than not reducing the local populations to second class citizens, and that continues today. The Japanese occupied areas of China and the Philippines, starving and killing many in the local populations. The Hutu killed around 800,000 Tutsi for their lands in a genocide only 2 decades ago. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Barbary/Ottoman Empire is estimated to have taken around 1.25m Europeans and that number again from other areas, as slaves for sale in North Africa. ISIS brutally kills and suppresses local populations that they occupy as they seek to create their own state. Others like Boko Haram seek to do the same.

            We cannot ignore the ugliness that can exist in the darkest parts of human nature, nor can we say it is a symptom of a single group.

            • Onion juice says:

              As you notice these were regional conflicts which is common among factional tribes.
              Not like countries who traveled halfway around the world to systematically slaughter, rape, murder the NATIVES and plunder the land of its riches to build and enhance their desolate land and then brutally and inhumanly enslave the NATIVES away from their HOME for four centuries spread throughout the Western hemisphere where they endured decades of injustice and still feeling the ramifications off the evil system from the well established recipients off the SYSTEM.

              • Build a Better Bermuda says:

                Regional/global, does it really matter, no. They are symptoms of the same darkness, the same darkness that it is apparent that you choose to harbour in yourself, your justification for your own failings to rise above the weakness that the darkness feeds from. If you feel so wronged for your ancestors having been taken from their homeland, why don’t you go back there, it is apparent you don’t like society here.

  3. Jus' Askin' says:

    This guy will end OBA’s reign ;-)

    • charles says:

      Jus’ Askin, you and I may or may not be political opposites.

      But I will agree with you. M.Fahy (lost all respect for calling him Minister) is involved in every controversial policy augmented by the OBA.( except for the Airport) Transparency, good governance etc. foisted by the OBA has been damaged by him.

      This op-ed is the FINAL STRAW for many of us.

      • Jim Jones says:

        Final straw?

        So there has never been a “Status” Bermudian representing the PLP in government?

        Hipocracy on this thread is amazing.

      • Jus' Askin' says:

        You think he wasn’t apart of this airport deal? :-D
        Think about it ;-)

    • Spit Bouy says:

      If Minister Fahy moves people so much that it ends the OBA’s reign then so be it, then those Bermudians will get what they richly deserve. Namely a PLP government that has no clue in how to right this listing ship.

      Of course when we economically sink below the waves I’m sure they & the PLP will blame that on foreigners, whitey, not real Bermudians, blacks who don’t think like them… we all know how it goes.

      Bring it on.

  4. Thomas says:

    Is there anything in his piece that anyone wishes to refute?

    • AF87 says:

      Nobody can criticise it, because he is completely correct. now, wheres my tin foil hat, radio is on!!
      Bermudians make me laugh!

    • Impressive says:

      One can speak facts, but choosing your facts selectively to make a point is still deceptive.. Case in Point, yes its a fact that Paula Cox was born in Canada, but she was born to Bermudian parents who where in Canada at the time. I am not trying to attack this Minister, but he clearly thinks some people in Bermuda are stupid as he seems to constantly insult “some” people’s intelligence with the points or statements he attempts to justify.. So refute, no, but to approve, certainly not.

      • Thomas says:

        I think his point was: How can the Honourable Ms. Cox possess a Bermudian birthright(s) when she was not born in Bermuda?

        • Say Whaat? says:

          Because Bermudian blood is in her veins. Her parents are Bermudian. Same for Rev. Tweed.

          • Peace to All says:

            Actually that’s not true. Her family came here from West Indies. Ditto Rev. Tweed. So now, how do you define “Bermudian blood”? Oops I’m sorry if these facts are inconvenient for you.

            • Say Whaat? says:

              Actually her grandparents are from the West Indies, her parents and Rev. Tweed’s dad are Bermudian. Your facts are twisted, like your mind!

              • Peace to All says:

                I”m afraid you are the one who’s twisted. If her grandparents are from the West Indies, what does that make her parents? You can’t have it both ways. That would be called “hypocrisy”.

              • serengeti says:

                If her grandparents came from the West Indies, then her parents had no birthright. So how could they pass it along to her?
                In your little mind, does birthright appear magically after two generations, designed just for PLP MP’s?

          • 32n64w says:

            Rev. Tweed isn’t Bermudian. He’s here on a work permit. You’ve just capsized your own argument

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            What about Dr. Gordon? Or Dame Lois Browne Evans, her parents weren’t Bermudian, they had only been living here for just over 10 years when she was born here. Are they any more Bermudian than someone who has worked and contributed here for decades? What metrics are we applying here, why should there be exceptions, who decides the exceptions? Why should a born Bermudian be able keep other citizenships when they haven’t done anything for those nations and status Bermudians give up theirs when they have worked for their’s?

            Minister Fahy is taking a stand against ignorance and intolerance in this country, he is fighting for Bermudian equality. Yet there are those who critize him for it, because it isn’t their idea of equality.

      • Jim Jones says:

        What if a a Bermudian’s wife wanted to get into politics? Would you support her? She’s got about the same legal status as a Bermudian as Fahy does.

  5. Richard says:

    I repeat–out after first term!

  6. Warwick Lizard says:

    True dat Minister Fahy. Shouldn’t matter if one just got “his papers” or if you stepped off the boat 300+ years ago. We’re all Bermy. You go bye. Doing a good jawb…

  7. charles says:

    Every time I think this Minster has gone too far. He manages to take an extra step! Lead by example Min. Fahy, give up your Canadian birthright! Sylvan, this is “ya boy”. Past time for him to go. You as well if this is what you guys (OBA) believe.

    No such thing as birthright ??????….SMDH

    • AF87 says:

      There is no such thing as birthright. Tell your opinion to the 20+ kids in my daughters class in school that were born here and get kicked off at 18.
      Do you have any sort of rebuttal to that Charles?

      • WOOOOSAHHHH says:


      • charles says:

        Wish I knew more of what their situation was. Those kids who were “kicked out at 18″ had a ‘birthright’ to another country via their parents? Yes? But they wanted Bda. status as well ? Okay, so then Bermuda like most countries does have birthright privileges as well as status priveleges. We therefore need Immigration reform so that those “20″ could have had a ‘right’ depending on their individual situations.

        • Jim Jones says:

          This piece is not about expat kids. It is about the PLP and its supporters drawing a distinction between ‘born’ Bermudians and ‘paper’ Bermudians, when legally speaking there is no difference.

          Legally, Fahy is as much of a Bermudian as any member of the PLP living or dead.

          • Ian says:

            The law has been used to justify all sorts of crap in the past. From owning slaves to “whitening” the voting base here in the 1960s… So whats your point? You really think the average person of true heritage here is trying to hear your garbage?

            • Zevon says:

              Maybe we should send back everyone whose parents came from the islands then.

              • Onion Juice says:

                And send back everyone whose parents came from America, Canada and Europe.

                • serengeti says:

                  And whose parents came from the islands, and Africa.

                  • Mr Stevens says:

                    Leave Bermuda for the skinks and cahows.

                  • watchmen says:

                    They did not come they were dragged lest you forget….

              • Ian says:

                Maybe we should send you back…

            • Jim Jones says:

              My point is that Bermudian is Bermudian is Bermudian no matter where you were born or where your parents came from. There are plenty of PLP supporters who are “paper” Bermudians too.

            • Pamela says:

              Whose ‘true’ heritage? You must mean the descendants of the very few original European settlers because there are NO native Bermudians. Everyone came from SOMEWHERE else.

            • Jim Jones says:

              you’re now comparing ‘paper’ Bermudians’ legal status as equal to ‘born’ Bermudians to…..slavery?

              As if recognizing that Fahy is as Bermudian as born Bermudians is something we will look back on in a hundred years and think about how effed up that was?

              “remember back when people would get status and that meant they had EQUAL RIGHTS? I’m glad those days are over!”

              you have officially lost the plot.

          • Say Whaat? says:

            Stop handing out kool-aid Jim!

            • Jim Jones says:

              Someone learned how to use google.

              • Regina says:

                No, you just aren’t clever…at all.

                • Jim Jones says:

                  Then pick one of my posts on this thread and refute it. Using FACTS.

        • mj says:

          well said charles!

        • George says:

          There is no such thing as birth right privileges in Bermuda and that is the whole point of the article! No one automatically obtains Bermudian citizenship (and all rights that go with it) because they were born in Bermuda, it is not the same as the US etc. You have to be born of a Bermudian parent and prove such to the Department of Immigration to be considered for Bermudian citizenship full stop! So lets stop with the (self)deceit because you don’t want to lose face and face the facts. Sorry you were led to believe your status was unique because you were born here but you’re not entitled to anything more than the rest of us Onions! The best example is those 20 kids, I bet some of them were born here, spent all their young lives here and guess what they were not given Bermudian citizenship because they did not qualify (even though they were born here) hence they had to leave!

    • Terry says:

      Then why the hell are you commenting ‘charles’.
      Apparently you have none.
      Get it?

    • Happy says:

      There isn’t, I was born here to Bermudians parents but legally I am Bermudian through a grant of Status.

  8. flikel says:

    “it’s upsetting that we have to hear about birthright when all of us know about people who do not, or did not have it, who are respected for their contributions”

    Is this Minister for real? It’s upsetting to hear about the term birthright?
    This is coming from our immigration minister. Does the OBA support the Minister’s view?

    If Minister Fahy, in his capacity as a member of the Canadian government, wrote this column in a newspaper in Canada, there would be outrage. No Canadian would support this view.

    Can you imagine the person responsible for immigration in Canada or the US telling their citizens there is no such thing as a birthright.

    • Sad says:

      Actually Canada accepts hundreds of thousands on immigrants a year.

      President Obama just granted amnesty to 11 million ILLEGAL immigrants with a swipe of a pen.

      But as I noted below you guys tend to be more far right/tea party types. So I understand your hatred.

      • WOOOOSAHHHH says:


        • Sad says:

          The people that he is speaking of have lived here for at least 25 years.

          And yet not only did you survive, but are able to access a computer to spread your hate.

          • Impressive says:

            What amazes me is that anyone who objects to something with regards to a certain demographic of people is put into a category of being filled with “hate”.

          • mj says:

            and why do you use the word survive?and act as though bermudians should be lucky to have a computer, if people invade your house and your lucky to use the bathroom are you grateful that you survive that! get a grip and pic up a dictionary for the meaning of birthright. while your at it find out what “mon dieu and mon droit” mean? not all countries are so lenient with their immigration policies only the ones that started war and slavery and took others birthright(land!!!!) and called it another name and changed the name of original peoples so they could conquer, hence why wew are having a conversation about birthright instead of NATIONALITY which is the true issue!

        • serengeti says:

          So everyone born in Bermuda is a born Bermudian. is that it?

      • flikel says:

        I am not disputing or questioning Canadian or US immigration policies. I am questioning how a minister responsible for immigration could tell people they have no birth right.

        Again, if the person responsible for immigration in Canada or the US tells their citizens there is no such thing as a birthright and they have no birthright……how would this be received? Do you think Canadian and Americans would support this?

        • James says:

          What is a “birthright?”

          • AF87 says:

            See, nobody here can answer that question, because they immediatly assume hes playing the race card and saying he wants more status Bermudians. but, actually, Fahy is right, there is no such thing as birthright in Bermuda Immigration Law.

            • KBond says:

              I’m going to have a shot at defining ‘birthright’ with what I’ve read from the plp and their supporters. Apparently you don’t need to be born here but both parents should be Bermudian, suggesting that ‘birthright’ is something that gets passed on to children from parents. I haven’t heard whether there’s a grandparent criteria but if all grandparents were non-Bermudian that would imply the parents have no ‘birthright’ to pass on (is 50% grandparent ‘birthright’ sufficient to qualify?).

              This is getting complicated – anybody want to help me out?

              • Theothersidebda says:

                No, you just tried to define how one acquires a birthright…the question is, what ‘right’ does one get conveyed to them that other legal citizens without a ‘birthright’ do not get?

              • Lynne Winfield says:

                The right of abode by place of birth is called Jus soli (Latin: right of the soil), i.e. the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship. However, only 30 out of almost 200 countries grant citizenship at birth. Whereas, almost all states in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania grant citizenship based on Jus sanguinis (Latin: right of blood), a principle of nationality law in which citizenship is inherited through parents rather than by birthplace, or a restricted version of jus soli in which citizenship by birthplace is not automatic for the children of aliens.

                • mj says:

                  @Lynn—how do you explain the people in bermudians called bermudians who also are referred through passport and on island as”overseas territory citizens” please explain why it is that Bermuda status differs from people that have the reference of “overseas territory citizens”? what does that mean, how did it come about, and why are we stuck with that reference which is why some status bermudians also have a passport that explains a different nationality.. Although we are allowed at present to reside and live in the overseas territory the right has not always existed yet we are claimed by the territory that called us such citizens? So although britian claims us as overseas territory citizens, our rights are not always the same as those who were born over there in britian… people that come to bermuda and apply for status do not become overseas territory citizens they just become “status” bermudians, so the real issue is that of the people referred to as”overseas territory citizens”… can you assist these people with their origins?

              • Build a Better Bermuda says:

                It does get complicated, because if the PLP applied that definition, then they can’t consider Dr. Gordon or Dame Lois Browne Evans to be Bermudian

              • Zevon says:

                Ah, but if both parents need to be Bermudian, then all grandparents would logically have needed to be Bermudian. If you go back that far, almost all PLP MPs are disqualified. So, according to them, it would have to mean something else.
                It would be watered-down enough for all PLP MPs to qualify, I’m sure.

                • watchmen says:

                  Doubly so for UBP and the nonbermudaalliance Zevon…

        • Ed Case says:

          Flikel: Moan and groan all you want. People born in the USA and Canada have a birthright. People born in Bermuda might have one – but not necessarily. What do you not understand? How is this Fahy’s fault?

          It is Bermuda law. I know many people born here who do not have a birthright. It is because their parents are foreign.

          My daughter was born here of two Bermudian parents, yet we still had to register her as Bermudian – it does not automatically happen.

          Get educated on the law or you will continue to make a fool of yourself.

          This is not Fahy, or OBA’s fault. This law was made decades ago. 1956 I believe.

        • Sad says:

          Obama essentially did when he authorised amnesty for 11 million ILLEGAL immigrants.

          The vast majority of critics are from people that most of te critics would label as racists and supremacists.

          But we know your hate is noble.

          • watchmen says:

            The false media labels them as such when really they are fighting to defend the country their fathers stole!

        • Rich says:

          If a Minister made those comments in Canada, nothing would happen. His column fits perfectly within mainstream political ideals and the Canadian adherence to multiculturalism and pluralism.

          However, if a Minister took a contrarian view and talked about real Canadians with ‘birthright’ that Minister would be dogged by controversy and asked to resign. The comments would be regarded as highly racist to new Canadians and to aboriginals objecting to the very idea.

          Of course, a different political and demographic context, but that’s the answer to your question.

          • James says:

            This x1000. What many Bermudians don’t get is that their idea about “birthright” is out of step with mainstream politics as regards citizenship in most developed western democracies.

            Fahy’s column would be boring in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere. Here, it’s controversial.

            We have so much work to do.

            • Lynne Winfield says:

              Only 30 out of almost 200 countries grant citizenship at birth (incl USA and Canada). Whereas, almost all states in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania grant citizenship based on Jus sanguinis (Latin: right of blood), a principle of nationality law in which citizenship is inherited through parents rather than by birthplace, or a restricted version of jus soli in which citizenship by birthplace is not automatic for the children of aliens.

              • Zevon says:

                So presumably, Lynne, you would agree that this talk of ‘birthright’ is all about preserving some kind of unearned privilege? That’s what people mean when they bring it up, isn’t it. They are implying superiority to those without ‘birthright’. They are creating a division between two classes of people: those with ‘birthright’, and all others.
                As head of CURB that must disgust you, I’d imagine.

    • hmmm says:

      You failed to read the whole piece.

    • Ed Case says:

      American born do have a birthright. Bermudian born may or may not – depending on their parents. Fahy speaks the truth. You can be as upset as you like – it is the truth.

      Bermuda does not have an automatic birthright – the USA does.

      This is not Fahy’s fault – it is the law.

      • AF87 says:

        SENSE at last!!!

      • WOOOOSAHHHH says:

        bermuda does not have birthright CITIZENSHIP…be specific it seems as though you dont really know exactly what your’re talking about…

        • AF87 says:

          Oh, ok. So what do you mean when you say Birthright then? Because you havent answered any of the questions here that ask the same.
          Go ahead, Im all ears under my tin foil hat….

        • AF87 says:

          So what do you interpret birthright as meaning? I genuinely want to know. Because I have asked you a lot of times and you are dodging the question.

  9. Alvin Williams says:

    Interesting comments from the minister of foreign employment procurement and another attempt to down play the Bermudian right to their country. Even in Canada there is such a thing as first nations describing the non-European populations that live there before the coming of European settlers; but even so you could not tell a born white Canadian that he does not have a birthright to Canada. I will never forget the picture of a white Canadian member of the Canadian arm forces who was toe to toe; nose to nose with a Mohawk warrior over a depute over land. Whose birthright was being defended? You want me to define birthright; I define birthright on the scared bones of my dear departed grandmother who lie buried under the soil of this country along with many of her generation who built this country and carried it on their backs. The minister of foreign employment procurement has it wrong; you can not go to an American and tell them they have no birthright to America? You can not even go to Canada and dare make such a statement. He is trying to define who is a Bermudian and again he would dare to go to any man’s country and make such a statement. You want a single country than you are going to have to declare a nation; there are no other circumstance. Than the debate over who is a Bermudian will come to an end

    • RBDAPUK says:

      Bermuda isn’t even a country.

    • There are no real Bermudians. There was no native population on this island. Every one of us came from some where else. We are Bermudian by laws instituted and amended over the years by people who also came from other places originally. How far back in our personal family histories do each of us have to go to be considered real Bermudians? Does your dear departed grandmothers hard work make her more Bermudian than a first generation Bermudian who also works hard? Does someone elses great grandmother make them even more Bermudian than you? Where exactly did your ancestors come from and when did they get here? Are you really Bermudian if your family in Bermuda only goes back two generations, three, four?
      We are unique in our situation and should not be compared to juristictions that had native populations. There is not one of us that can truly claim to be uniquely native Bermudian except, possibly, the descendants of the original settlers, who all came from somewhere else!

      • Regina says:

        How can anyone disagree with this comment? It is FACT.

      • charles says:

        Enough of this: There are no real Bermudians? Then there are no real Americans, Canadians, Brits, Aussies or Europeans. Because as you say / deduce everyone came from somewhere else. That would mean that no matter where you come from / call home, you are really an African. The Cradle of civilization. Everyone migrated to somewhere else. Including Bermuda. The only thing that the rest of the world has on us is that they have centuries of domestication from Africa, north to Europe and Asia. Yet each of these countries claim a birthright. But just because Bermuda does not have as many years behind us, we have to forego that philosophy? Bull_. We cannot call ourselves Bermudians, establish our rights and privileges as we see fit just like anyone else on this earth. So every time I hear this discussion, why do you want to deny us a birthright I have to ask. Your motives are more than “because there is no such thing”. I dare say it is because some people want to maintain / retain / establish a vested interest in Bermuda, and still have rights and privileges elsewhere. You still want to call the shots in this country and be able to bail when it suits you. Some Bermudians don’t have that luxury/privilege. When the poo hits the fan, and it will ( but that’s another subject) who will welcome us with open arms ?

        So as you can deduce, I am a Nationalist. Bermuda thru and thru.
        Can’t wait to get rid of “quo fata ferunt” or as we say nowadays

  10. Enough says:

    Great article. Hard facts laid out there.

  11. J Starling says:

    I have very strong ideological disagreements with Minister Senator Fahy, but he’s as Bermudian as I and many others are under law. His parents may not be Bermudians, but he is.

    I remain disappointed that the OBA has opposed developing a long-term and sustainable approach to immigration/naturalisation, of which a joint-select committee would have been ideal.

    • justin says:

      Walton, is that you? Can’t be the ‘independent’ speaking from the same script as the PLP, can it?!

      • J Starling says:

        You are confusing the terms ‘independent’ and ‘neutral’. I am independent of either party line, but that doesn’t prevent me from supporting this or that party line.

        I believe the need for comprehensive immigration reform, through a joint-select committee and mass public consultation approach is the best one for ensuring this emotive issue is handled to create a long-term sustainable solution.

        In this case the PLP are right to advocate that (how genuine they might be on that is a different question) and I believe the OBA are wrong.

        I support the OBA’s proposed political reforms, but, well, when was the last time you heard them talk about those?

  12. AF87 says:

    Why are you all freaking out over this? he is correct, there is no such thing in IMMIGRATION LAW as a birthright.

    Stop believing everything is about the fact that you are black. This is not a witch hunt. I am black too, yet I happen to have some sense. He is entirely correct in what he has said.

    • mj says:

      and who are you responding to that made that claim about “black”?its about nationality!

  13. Sad says:

    Some of these responses are right out of the tea party playbook. I guess we have ‘birthers’ in BDA now.

    Well at least this stance complements their hate gays, hate foreigners, hate people of a different color, hate people of same color but with different ideologies etc.

    You wannabe tea partiers/repuicans do nothing for BDA. You’re straight up nasty and just erode BDA as a whole. Nothing but a hate group masquerading as a political party/supporters.

    Actually you are worse then tea party/republicans, as they vehemently protest/preach against ILLEGAL immigrants being granted US citizenship, while you ignorant trolls despise the fact that people who have been here for at least a quarter of a century will be afforde the same rights as others.

    I notice none of you nasties have rebutted one thing outlined in the above. Typical of bigots.

    • hmmm says:

      I agree the PLP supporters stance is right out of the Tea Part playbook.

  14. Ed Case says:

    All Fahy is trying to point out is that there is no such thing as a Bermuda birthright. Not everyone born here is Bermudian. In addition, some people not born here ARE Bermudian through and through.

    Blind PLP faithfull who continue to ignore this may as well ignore gravity. They’ll probably try to blame it on OBA too.

    • WOOOOSAHHHH says: missed it…he’s saying that born bermudians are no more important than those who have been awarded bermudian status…

      • AF87 says:

        Oh, can you please explain how people born in Bermuda are more important than anyone else?

        • WOOOOSAHHHH says:

          as stated, some chose to come here, others were forced or arrived by accident to this country small in size and extremely limited in resources, those born here should have some sort of preference before those of chose to come here…the immigration reform has been on the agenda for a while, yet we cant seem to get to it…however, our dear cosin fahy is attempting to modify a few things before we actually sit down and do what should have been done a long time ago….you tell me, where the born bermudian can go, work and send back money to support his family…most foreigners leave their country and come here because its nice and the money is good…how many born bermudians are going to go elsewhere when they already live in this ‘paradise’? fahy has shown his hand in so many ways…

          • AF87 says:

            You evaded my question. tell me, how exactly are people born in Bermuda more important than others? What preferential treatment would you like them to see?
            A free job, with no work and no time to make? or a couple of hundred dollars a week for having as many children as theny can/ tell me, exactly what do you want for being born in Bermuda?

          • Cow Polly says:

            Your ‘born Bermudians’ have been leaving in droves to the UK, our mother country, where they can live, work and send back money to support their families or bring their families with them and enjoy the benefits of the welfare state.
            As for your statement “those born here should have some sort of preference”, is that your stance for children born in Bermuda of foreign parents who currently do not enjoy Bermudian status?

            • mj says:

              cowpolly–you did”our” mother country, so what is the problem with the daughters going over there to live and take advantage of the welfare state that cators mostly to refugees from around the worl who are victims of war! By the way who paved the roads, put up lampost, universities and healed the sick? certainly not people that look like YOUR MOTHER over there! the STOLE THAT LAND did not do any work to build it up not even those CASTLES!

              • Cow Polly says:

                Can’t really understand what your point is about Our Mother Country, but I’m Bermudian and our mother country is the UK. And I don’t have a problem with the daughters going over there but the above poster did. The thing is it’s not reciprocol is it? And that is what makes us unique. All the rest of your post is eligible and you don’t know anything about my mother or me but your assumptions are hilarious

          • Accurate says:

            The only right you achieve when you are ‘Bermudian’ at birth in this little make-believe nation is your share of the outrageous debt. Currently you owe approx fifty thousand dollars (US $ that is) each – got it?

        • mj says:

          because that is whats known as “birthright” the place you were born with certain priviledges thats set you apart from others who voting!!!

          • Zevon says:

            So you’re saying ‘birthright’ is about unearned privilege. You think you have an unearned privilege over other people.

            Due to the “place you were born”. So you are saying that everyone born in Bermuda should get Bermuda status, and thst same ‘birthright’ privlilege, are you? Interesting.

      • Sad says:

        No he’s not at all.

        Born Bermudians and Bermudians by status are equal in terms of rights and opportunities.

        That is the law and has been for decades.

      • Theothersidebda says:

        And you think they do? Maybe that’s the problem….no Bermudian, horn or otherwise, should think themselves better or more important than the other.

  15. veritas says:

    Many Bermudians enjoy other countries rights..and yet those who have the same rights as Bermudians are denied…This is called lack of rest for fundamental human right to domicile..

    • mj says:

      what rights can we gain from other countries outside of USA, Canada and england? other countries do not treat migrants as equal so name the countries you are talking about and you will find that because of war and enslavement some of us will never receive citizenship BECAUSE others putOUR COUNTRY UNDER SUBJUGATION AND STOLE OUR BIRThright according to our nationality because they were greedy,selfish and lazy and could not build up their own communities!so when they STOLE others birthrights and GAVE THEM different names by force(se “roots”< from kunta kinte to toby), some of us ended up in different parts of America and the rest of the WORLD by means of being transported against our will!Land was divided and agreements were made to displace a certain group of people in the world…

  16. Kangoocar says:

    Once again it has been proven that the quickest way to bring out the plp xenophobes is to give them the real truth!!! Well done Min Fahy for once again telling it the way it REALLY is!!! You plp xenophobes just cannot face facts can you???

  17. craig looby says:

    this perspective is very strange and does not exist any where else in the western world…. american politicians would never say this to the born natives of the usa canadian politicians would never say this to the born natives in canada and a uk eu politicians would never say this to born peoples of the uk and eu.
    bermuda must be another world where a born bermudian, born from bermudians have no birth right in bermuda.

    • Terry says:

      Got s*** to do with Canada.

      You all applaud Comrade Starling.
      He a Communist.

      Go get off the net folks and the koolaide.

      • PBanks says:

        What the devil does Starling have to do with either the article or Craig’s comment? Goodness.

    • AF87 says:

      Doesnt exist anywhere else in the world???

      Hahahahahahahahaha. Get a life.

      • Zevon says:

        it doesn’t exist in the US, Canada, the UK.
        Those days are gone. For example, if you’re American, you’re American, wherever you or your parents were born.
        The only people talking about ‘birthrights’ are neo-nazi nationalists. Hangovers from outdated mid 20th century fascism.

  18. Answer the question says:

    Can someone please explain what exactly is a birthright and how they are being eroded?

    • WOOOOSAHHHH says:

      each country will define through their immigration laws what they wish to accompany a birthright. In this case we have a minister of foreign origin attempting to change the definition of the bermudian birthright amongst other things…like how and who to give bermuda status to.

      • Casual Observer says:

        How is he attempting to change the definition when he quotes legislation that was passed over 50 years ago?

  19. Thelma says:

    my FATHER and MOTHER where born in BERMUDA so was I MINISTER FAHY needs go

    • Terry says:

      Good thing you were not conceived on a steamship or airplane.

      Now that’s another matter.

    • PBanks says:

      Um, that’s great. Many Bermudians were born here to foreign parents, some were born elsewhere to foreign or Bermudian parents.

      None of it should matter as the common thread is the people are Bermudian.

    • serengeti says:

      So I guess you were against Cox when she was premier as well?
      And the spouses of the last 3 PLP premiers?

    • Anbu says:


  20. WOOOOSAHHHH says:

    we have an immigration minister fighting for rights of foreigners and telling bermudians that we have no birthright….its too damn hot for this…

  21. sml says:

    Birthright | Definition of birthright by Merriam-Webster

    Define birthright: a right that you have because you were born into a particular position, family, place, …

    • Theothersidebda says:

      Great…so now tell me the right that one gets exactly.

  22. WOOOOSAHHHH says:

    every country awards status to people who fit the criteria…what our dear cousin fahy is trying to do is change our criteria and diminish that value of the Bermudian birthright to status. when they said bermuda was open for business they meant it…now…what are we going to do about our dear cosin fahy????

    • Happy says:

      Well I want you to keep this in mind, I’m a “status Bermudian” who was born here, should I have less rights than someone with a Bermudian birth certificate? Remember that when you drive past St. Anthony’s on middle road in Warwick, my family built that church. Or better yet keep that in mind entering town from East Broadway, the sculpture of the longtail on the wave was done by my great-uncle.

      Fahy isn’t diminishing a non-existent birthright, you want to hold back other Bermudians.

    • AF87 says:

      Please tell me what criteria he is trying to change, and what he is trying to diminish exactly?
      Actaully answer a question for once. your slackmouthed drooling comments are clogging up a real discussion.

  23. clearasmud says:

    “I find it extraordinary that individual members of the Opposition, who I know to be decent, upright people, would go along with this cynical strategy, especially when many members of the Opposition were either born overseas, had parents overseas, are married to someone from overseas or whose children were born overseas. I find it amazing that the population of this country accepts the hypocrisy.

    I find it amazing that nowhere in his article does he actually mention that neither he nor the present premier were born her but he takes time out to mention former Premier Cox.

    • Jim Jones says:

      The point in mentioning Premier Cox was to illustrate that it’s irrelevant where anyone was born, if they in fact hold Bermudian status.

  24. mickmouse says:

    huh? what do you even mean? read the article.

    A born Bermudian born from Bermudian parents has Bermudian status. Fahy is saying that such a person should not have more rights than say a Bermudian born in Jamaica to Bermudian parents who come back here at the age of 2 to live. Like me for example.

  25. Hate the hate says:

    So Bermudians who were not born on island, but are Bermudian by every legal definition, should be treated differently as opposed to Bermudians born on island according to some.

    Damn that is just one crazy and hateful position to hold.

    What is BDA turning into? Sounds like facism dressed up a nationalism to me.

    Oh and like him or hate him, Fahy is right as the law is the law and has been for nearly 50 years or so.

  26. WOOOOSAHHHH says:

    everybody appears to think that we are only talking about birthright CITIZENSHIP…there are other rights you know…dont act like you don’t know where he is going with this…

    • AF87 says:

      Please tell me, because I havent read between the lines like you have.

      I assume itll be a diatribe of racism.

  27. Iggrunce says:

    The sky is blue. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. I am a human person with dna. I was born in Bermuda. I do not have Bermudian parents. I do not have “birthright”. If I were born in America to immigrant parents but remained there for over 30 days, my birthright is American.
    Clear, simple and plain.

  28. Bermudian to the bone says:

    I am a Bermudian, born to two Bermudian parents that happened to be overseas when I was born.

    Move back before I was 2.

    My family settled in BDA in the 1850s

    Does that mean I am less of a Bermudian than ones that were born here?

    This type of ignorance is killing this island.

    • AF87 says:

      Ignorance is the right word. And, if you took a look at who is doing the judging and the discrimating, you’d see something rather eyeopening.

  29. Chaos Theory says:

    So, because my son was born in the USA, for medical reasons, according to the xenophobes here, he should have less rights than my daughters who were born on the rock? WTF, how screwed up an attitude is that.

    You people are just haters, although I expect it has a lot to do with Minister Fahey’s complexion rather than any fundamental objections to what he said.

    • AF87 says:

      Exactly. Hes not Native enough looking to satisfy these idiots.

    • Terry says:

      Paid for by the missing money.

  30. CONNIE says:

    i think it very funny when people are talking about birthrights i was born in bermuda in the late 60 , went to school until the 11 grade and then came to live in the country my parents were from .yes i am a child of immigrants my dad was there for 24 years , my mom 22 years .there were never given rights , so i was not considered a bermudian at birth which i find funny , again if you are ok on giving status to non born people in bermuda why not start with the children who were born there . even if i wanted to go a work there it is a problem , you all talk about giving the best to your families which i totally agree and what to be accecpted in other countries either to study or work or just to get on in life , why not start giving what is rightfully ours to begin with which is status on were i was born ………………thank you hope i did not offend anyone

    • Kangoocar says:

      Well said Connie, the only persons you are offending are the usual plp xenophobes on Bernews!!!! I think without a doubt you should be able to live, work and vote here!!!!!

  31. James says:

    Wow. Only in Bermuda would the above column he considered controversial. Minister Fahy is spreading a message of unity: that whether you are Bermudian by birth or by some other means, that status should be equal under not only eyes of the law, but also on principal. In other words, no Bermudian has or should expect any special rights. That’s a message all Bermudians should embrace.

    It would be an affront to democracy and to human rights if to be a Bermudian meant something different under law depending on such superficial things as who your parents are, where they were born, etc.

    No one would complain about this column anywhere else. Well, nobody but bigots would. Divide and conquer, as always. We’ve a long way to go, as Fahy rightly points out.

  32. Ed says:

    Ok this argument is getting silly. Lets get to the real issue: What is the difference between a

    ‘Bermudian’ and a ‘Grassroots Bermudian’?

    Go for it.

    • Anbu says:

      We all know the answer to that question mate. Black and white is the answer you r looking for

      • Rhonda says:

        When I grew up only Black people were Bermudians… White people all had a pre-fix..even the ones that had been here several generations…… after the riots of 1977, and it became politically improper to overtly discriminate against Blacks… everything became confusing……. I never grew up hearing or a St.Kitts-Bermudian or a Caribbean-Bermudian, but I did hear about the Portuguese Bermudian…or the Canadian, USA or UK Bermudian… When they where forced to desegregated the retail sector, Bank and public employees..and the cries were Bermudian are too uneducated to work these jobs..who do you think they were talking about white Bermudian… they were the ones already working these jobs so..who were the lazy uneducated Bermudian ……HMMMMM

  33. SMH says:

    Some people just need to take a deep breath and read the article to comprehend what is being said. Have Bermudian schools decayed so much since I was there that this is an impossibility?

    If the article is too long, read Ed Case’s replies for short summary of what is meant to be an article about what is the law and how Bermudians needs to stand together, regardless of the origin of the Bermudian status!

    I am a Bermudian born to Bermudian parents. My father came from England, and has lived in Bermuda for all but the first few years of his life. My mother’s father has deep Bermudian ancestry. Who is trying to say my parents deserve to be treated differently because of how they attained their Bermudian status?

  34. Terry says:

    In the 60′s/70′s they acted up
    Today the people that took part still hold the strings to such.
    They live amongst us and of course elsewhere.

    By any means necessary.
    It rings true today.

    Look at the players then; look at them now.

    Next they will demolish the statue of Sir George Somers.
    Our flag will be gone.

    We will become BerJaica.

    Make plans folks and leave them nothing.

  35. Karen says:

    Since Canada has been mentioned a lot, below is a quote from our immigration minister and I ask you to pay particular note of the spirit of the statement:

    “With a record number of new Canadians this year, it is clear that our government’s changes to the Citizenship Act are having a real impact on the number of new citizens welcomed to the Canadian family. With more than 260,000 new citizens embracing Canadian values and traditions in 2014, we are fulfilling our commitment to reducing backlogs and, improving processing times.”

    Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

    I was born in Canada, as were my parents. This allows me to live, work, own property and pay taxes in Canada. The 260,000 new Canadian citizens are also allowed to live, work, own property and pay taxes in Canada. There is no difference between us under the law. I do not have any additional “birthrights” not do I expect any.

    • Karen says:

      My apologies, should be “nor do I expect any”.

  36. Birthright says:

    Actually, if foreign parents had a child in Canada or the USA, the child is NOT entitled to Canadian or American citizenship.

    In order to be qualified, you have to either be a landed immigrant or a Canadian/US citizen in order for your child/children to be qualified for citizenship.

    • Terry says:

      Garbage ‘Birthright’.

      You know nothing about what you just posted.

    • Happy says:

      Jus soli

    • Chaos Theory says:

      Can’t speak for Canada, but if you are born in the U.S. you are automatically a U.S. Citizen,,and there is nothing you can do about that until you are 18

    • Peace to All says:

      This is plain garbage. Here is a quote explaining the law: “In most situations, any child that is born in the United States or one of its territories will automatically receive American citizenship. “

  37. Smh says:

    Unlike the Minister, I have no dual citizenship. I was born in Bermuda. I was raised culturally as a Bermudian. I have nowhere else to go. I deserve a right to live here and work here and have opportunity that is afforded to me as a Bermudian Citizen. Bermuda is my HOME and THAT is my birthright in the same way that a person who wasn’t born here and comes to visit, live, or work can go back to their HOME as it is their birthright !!

    I really can’t believe people trust this guy….anyone who doesn’t know that clearly isn’t in the loop.

    • Casual Observer says:

      And how has your rights been eroded?

      • Smh says:

        I think you’ve missed my point. The current government and many people make a lot of articles and statements that give the impression that they are attacking the Bermudian identity i.e. “What is a Bermudian ” “there’s no such thing as a Bermudian” etc.
        Yes a Bermudian is a Bermudian but you have to meet that qualification first. I’m stating that it’s complete nonsense to suggest that a citizen of a country should not have special rights over foreign persons in their own home.

        • Terry says:

          Your comment makes no sense at all.

        • Onion says:

          We do have special rights as Bermudians. Nobody is suggesting otherwise.

        • Jim Jones says:

          what about ‘born’ Bermudians vs. ‘status’ Bermudians?

          should they have equal rights?

        • Happy says:

          “I’m stating that it’s complete nonsense to suggest that a citizen of a country should not have special rights over foreign persons in their own home.”

          And yet being a status Bermudian doesn’t mean you are a foreigner. I have no other country to go to either, so why should you hold some special right over me?

    • hmmm says:

      What about the UK and Europe….you have access to them too.

      • Rhonda says:

        people born in the colony of Bermuda do NOT have a birth right to the UK…. it is a privilege granted to them by the UK govt ….. just as the birth right is granted by being born in the UK colony called Bermuda… a privilege that has been given and taken over the 400 years of Bermuda’s existence…

        • RBDAPUK says:

          Catch up in time please. Bermuda is no longer a British Colony. It’s a British Overseas Territory.

        • Zevon says:

          A birthright is an unearned privilege.

          • Ian says:

            So is white privelege. Which is what largely drives the OBA MO.

    • de fence says:

      You have the right to live here.
      You have the right to work here.
      What is your beef? That other people also have the right to live here and work here?
      A Bermudian is a Bermudian whether or not they were born here.

  38. The Ridiculist says:

    This man would go down in history as the most controversial minister that eroded the rights and privileges of every born Bermudian.

    for christsake you tarnished our work reputation, now you
    trying to take away our birthright. you need to GO!

    • Casual Observer says:

      Please elaborate on your claim he is trying to take away your birthright?

      Also, please provide a rebuttal to his claims regarding the legislation he quoted.

      He is absolutely right that under our laws a Bermudian born in Bermuda or a Bermudian born elsewhere enjoy the same rights and freedoms as the other. That can’t be disputed.

      So again how is your, and what, birthright being taken from you?

    • AF87 says:

      What exactly is he trying to take away here? He is changing no law.

  39. Unbelievable says:

    This argument over Fahy’s status is dumb. You can’t even be a Govt Minister if you aren’t Bermudian. You ever think about that some of you?

    • Terry says:

      Contrare (sp)
      Dr. Brown was a US Citizen when elected as Premier.
      Now go back and get back.

      • Onion Soup says:

        Was Ewart Brown not required to denounce his US citizenship before he was sworn into office as Premier? I seem to recall that he did, but perhaps someone out there can clarify whether he did or not.

      • dual says:

        You can hold dual nationality and therefore two passports eg US Citizen and Bermudian.

    • mj says:

      yes you can canadians fall under category of”commonwealth” and they are allowed to be in our parliament, according to our laws.

    • gwan says:

      There are a relatively small group of ignorant people on this blog , the ones that hate whites and Gays and foreigners and other blacks who succeed . You wont change their minds . It is best not to read what these people have to say . It will only make your heart heavy. Go and be with your loved ones.

  40. Barbara D Cooper says:

    Michael Fahy makes intelligent honest statements Thank heaven for him !
    Thanks for all your hard work and dedication Michael.

  41. rhonda says:

    When the oba speaks believe them, status by birth is valueless. Meaningless, merely an accident of two people who happened to have Bermuda birth rights. The oba values status Bermudian, no matter how you slice it a person with birth rights in another jurisdictions are status Bermudian and NOT birth right Bermudian.
    But the oba has spoken your birth right is meaningless. That leaves status Bermudian as the valued Bermudian.

    • Jim Jones says:

      Nope. They are simply saying that all Bermudians are equally Bermudian.

  42. Rhonda says:

    Did I just hear in the Senate that birth rights are accidental, while status rights are a choice….. oh wow….

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Actually true, some would be predictably offended.

      Her point is that when I was born here and of Bermudian parents I became Bermudian. I had no choice in the matter, you could say accidentally. A status Bermudian has consciously made the choice to come here, marry perhaps and after 10 years can make the choice to become a Bermudian or not.

      • Chaos Theory says:

        So, my son, who was born in the U.S. for medical reasons, and for whom I had apply for Status, is somehow a second class Bermudian because he was not born on the rock? You are so full of it.

        • Jim Jones says:

          who said anything about second class citizens?

        • Tough Love says:

          Your son was an accident. To say that a whole set of people were accidentally born here….. my my my. The arrogance…. I can’t even…..

      • mj says:

        very well said M Fredrick, that is exactly it! not offensive just facts , because most of us that classify ourselves as Bermudians just happen to be here when we were CALLED that , and very true other people were given a choice,.,. we all have a true nationality and being “Bermudian” isn’t a nationality.It is only a status of people who were born here or assimilated in through permanancy certificate or marriage application but we all had to apply after some point in our history it wasn’t just assumed, so technically we are all “paper” bermudians, although people that actually carry a paper regarding their status have more rights than”accidental” Bermudians because when they are off island they can contact immigration department in Bermuda who will verify their “status”; however a born Bermudian”accidentally”, cannot contact bermuda’s immmigration department when overseas for verification of status , British embassy has to verify the status ofso called”accidental” bermudians.

    • Zevon says:

      A birthright is unearned privilege. You want unearned privileges based on where you are born. But not for everybody, of course. You don’t want everyone born here to get your unearned privilege.

  43. more than enough says:

    and what of all the other children born and raised in bermuda to foreign parents who were forced to leave upon reaching adulthood? were they not bermudian enough to receive status like the esteemed minister?

  44. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    You all do know that the first person ever born in bermuda had foreign parents right ..?

  45. more than enough says:

    and what about the part where he says that the non born and bred ‘bermudians’ are the most productive and valuable citizens?

  46. Oh,I see now says:

    I am waiting patiently for Fahy to fall on his smug a$$ his arrogance will be his undoing his kind always believe they are smarter than the rest.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      Call it like you see it / him but as for me, I see Minister Michael Fahy as a competent Minister and stands firm on his, along with many others beliefs, e. g. our point of views.

  47. Need Peace says:


  48. Say Whaat? says:

    Only in Bermuda do you have someone with dual citizenship in charge of immigration. Could you imagine the uproar if America’s immigration person was born in Mexico?!?

    • Izzypop says:

      America has Ted Cruz running for president. Where was he born?

  49. Coffee says:

    I must say that I totally agree with Fayhe , only the First Nation people in Canada have a birthright . Fayhe’s people found them there , so they ( Fayhe’s people ) have absolutely no claim as birthright citizens of all that land !

  50. Coffee says:

    I must say that I totally agree with Fayhe , only the First Nation people in Canada have a birthright . Fayhe’s people found them there , so they ( Fayhe’s people ) have absolutely no claim as birthright citizens of all that land ! When Micheal Fayhe speaks nonsense call the man out on it !

  51. Bermudian to the core says:

    I can’t believe all the hate and entitlement in these comments. Rhonda, stop making things up and implying what you think the Miniister is saying as being an insult. All you want to is spread hate. MJ, where did the Minister mention race?

  52. Rhonda says:

    granting of status”remember Bermuda is a colony.. and rights granted at birth in the colony called Bermuda ..are two different thing…. with the same ending result…

  53. Riley says:

    Mr. Fahy

    Was born in Canada. He is one of the expats who would have loved to be born in Bermuda. Harry Soares changed the law ” If you arrived in Bermuda before your sixth birthday” you can then apply for status at eighteen.

    Now we have a man not voted into the Parliament whose voice is the only one I here dictating how Bermuda should be run.

    • Jim Jones says:

      He’s not the first unelected Immigration Minister.

    • smh says:

      Ah…so you’re better than Senator Fahy because you’re born here. Got it.

  54. Bermudian Momma says:

    Coming from a multi-national / multi -racial family, I find the article amusing. I have a American-born Uncle who only applied for status in order to purchase a property with his Bermudian-born wife of 25+ years and daughter. When I asked him why he did not apply for status before – he said it was not needed as he enjoyed the same benefits as any other “Bermudian”. If they had not purchased the property, he would not have bothered to apply for status. People want to make this about “race” but at the end of the day it is about more than that. The problem is Bermuda has a limited amount of space. This is demonstrated by the development of multi-storied condominiums. I have friends of Portuguese descent who were stateless due to the failure of their parents to register their births. The PLP attempted to address the problem by creating the PRC program. While this has now turned in to a problem it was better than what occurred under the UBP – a massive repatriation of the Portuguese community. Many of my school friends left for a country they did not consider home. I felt it was not fair at the time but now realize my friends suffered as a result of the parents’ decision. Comparing the USA & Canada to Bermuda is nonsensical – all of the residents of Bermuda can fit in ONE of their sports stadiums – so space is not a problem for them. “The United States and Canada are the only developed nations that grant automatic citizenship so expansively to children born within their borders. Anyone born in the United States is considered an American citizen regardless of whether the parents are U.S. citizens, legal residents, temporary visitors, or illegal aliens in the U.S.” ( Lets be honest, it is doubtful that the people who move to Bermuda to work, whether yesterday, a year ago, a decade ago or more than a quarter century – come with the intention of “getting status” – they came to “make money” to send back “home”. I do not fault them for that. The problem is that after coming for one reason “make money”, they don’t want to leave. Here we have the offspring of 2 non- Bermudian parents, given the responsibility of protecting Bermuda’s borders. How can I trust he is vested in the protection of our borders when he could jump on a plane and claim citizenship elsewhere should things go bad here? My only chooses are the nine parishes of Bermuda unless I apply for a UK passport.

    • Robert says:

      “My only chooses (sic) are the nine parishes of Bermuda unless I apply for a UK passport.” You choose not to apply for a UK passport so that gives you no choice? Love it!

    • Bermudian Momma says:

      Correction: “My choices are the nine parishes of Bermuda unless I chose to apply for a UK Passport.” A recently reinstated priledge that can be revoked again.

  55. cromwell says:

    The Senator Fahy is a lawyer and thinks like a lawyer so his position reflects the letter of the law.

    Bermuda is not an independent nation so there is no such thing as Bermudian Citizenship.

    Becoming Bermudian by Status (paper Bermudians) are not actually legal equal to Bermudians physically born on the island. Status Bermudians can have their Status revoked.

    To become a Status Bermudian you must become a British Subject.

    Bermuda privilege is an extension of a Bermudian birthright,although birthright and privilege are different.

    Birthright is by birth (physical and astrological location)and not by any government piece of paper, colonial or other kind.

    Bermudians especially black Bermudians refer that as “son of the soil”or “daughter of the soil.

    In Bermuda and in the Bermuda Constitution the key word is known as “belonging”, which means you belong to Bermuda in an integrated way.

    Its my opinion that birthright is important and plays a roll of individual and collective destiny.

    If you want citizenship you need to pay the price for independence and all the political costs that go along with the process, like giving up all other allegiance to other countries and have only one citizenship and passport that of “Bermudian”.

    • Chaos Theory says:

      Couple of errors:

      A persons status can ONLY be revoked if obtained by fraud.

      There is no legal distinction between status that has been granted and status as of right;

      The prerequisite is that you be a Commonwealth Citizen, not British Subject.

  56. BDA Skink says:

    It seems like the PLP are up to there old old tricks where they make noise about things when they quietly go about doing the same.

    There are many PLP members and PLP members of Parliament that were never born in Bermuda.
    What a bunch of hypocrites.

  57. sebring says:

    stupid people !!!!! lets be thankfull for all that we are ! if anything the only people with rights here are the spaniards ! everyone else was an import and don’t get me started with race cause i am a mixture of all ! but slaves had no more rights than a toaster oven so how can their decendants be considered more bermudian.(regardless of race)slaves were from many countries and races!

  58. Riley says:

    Sorry to disagree status cannot be revoke “Once Bermudian Your always a Bermudian”

  59. Need Peace says:

    Sure Fahy…. Try to take the public’s mind off the real deal!

  60. Haha says:

    I read in one of these articles (not hundred percent accurate but correct me if I’m wrong) that in about 10 to 15 years 65% of the population will be retirement age. Lol. Whos gonna be eligible to work when half the youts are not qualified, and the other half are dying young…hmm. You will need foreigners soon or your precious island will crumble. Don’t worry. Plenty of jobs will be available real soon. :) lol

    • AF87 says:

      Haha, I absolutely agree with you. I have spent many evenings discussing the get out plan with prominent expats, people who have families, pay massive rents, buy local, probably spend hundreds of dollars in stores that employ Bermudians (sory sorry, BORN Bermudians).
      These families are all ready to leave, with savings of thousands of dollars. leaving behind an empty 6 bed house (with BORN Bermudian landlord…), firing a house cleaner (also BORN Bermudian), leaving a private school over $20,000 DOWN in the next semester, not paying for ballet classes, soccor camps etc run by BORN Bermudians, no longer paying for mailboxes and all the other things….
      Think about that for a second!!!

  61. Need Peace says:

    I’ll tell you what’s right, Fahy! We say we have a birthright if you and Marshall don’t like it you can always leave!!!

    • smh says:

      Need Peace. I’m ashamed to have to share this island with the likes of you. What you need is a life and soon

  62. E. Gamble says:

    I believe the main problem lies with the fact that Bermuda has no (or has ever had) Indigenous people, the only (European) territory without native peoples. We All come here from somewhere else. Bermuda just happens to be British/English. So unless you can prove that your ancestors arrived on the ship in 1612. You have a population of 63,000 odd competing for a piece of 21 square miles, what do you think is going to happen? Racism should be out lawed by an act of Parliament once and for all. You are either Bermudian or you are not.

    • metro says:

      that is the case with most of the world, if you really look at it

  63. Ed says:

    A born Bermudian does have a right above status Bermudians. He can call himself an Onion. That’s the only difference I can come up with.

  64. metro says:

    you all going to figure it out and get it right someday, this is the stupidest stuff that I have ever heard, how does a visitor to your home have the same rights as someone born here, ludicrous .

    • AF87 says:

      what visitors does he refer to? Do you think someone who has Bermudian status, gained whatever way, is a visitor?

    • alsys says:

      No, but the person who married in or was adopted in or simply has given so much of their time, energy and love to that “family” and has literally been offered a official place as a family member should…

      No one is asking for the tourist or the temporary guest worker to be considered as Bermudians so your argument is inelegantly crafted. And wrong.

  65. metro says:

    yo, where did this Fahy guy come from anyway, I don’t recall him in any election, though I could be wrong. like I have said for years, these people come here, mess with the wealth of the country, and when things go south, they just pack up and move on, leaving us to deal with the mess

  66. shutthemdown says:

    I know this , if it gets really bad in Bermuda those ppl who are not Bermudians will be the first to leave.

    Those of us who are Bermudians have no place to go back to.

    At some point Bermudians will have to fight for the right to live here.

    Dog eat dog world

    • metro says:

      we are doing that now

    • Lois Frederick says:

      I suggest you apply for your UK passport, all Bermudians have the right to reside in the UK. Nice to have that option as a Bermudian.

      • Rhonda says:

        there is not right to reside in the UK, for born Bermudians, it is a privilege that is granted and one that can be taken away….at the will of the UK

        • alsys says:

          You are wrong. We are an OT now and that cannot be rescinded. Bermudians will always and have always had the ability to reside in the UK as they are British citizens. The only difference is now we are allowed to have British passports *without* having to reside in the UK first and are afford EU status as well as long as the UK stays in the EU.

          I get that the PLP’s master place to ripping back power using disinformation and emaotion disingenuity but wow. You guys aren’t even trying to skirt the truth anymore just headlong into outright lying.

  67. gwan says:

    Oh please , how many Bermudians have run to the UK to suck off the welfare teat ?

  68. Ed says:

    Fahy is a lawyer. He stated the law in the article above – he simply quoted the law. And you want to blame him for it.

    The iggrunce on this island is astounding at times. You people have a complex.

  69. Ian says:

    Well said Minister Fahy. Unfortunately, politics in Bermuda has always had a racial tint and like the Sharpton’s and Jackson’s of the US., we do have those that are way to liberal in utilising the “Race Card”. Recognizing that one has a problem is the first step in addressing and maybe fixing it. Minister Fahy’s column addressing the issue is a step in the right direction. Everyone, regardless of race needs to agree that a successful Bermuda is good for everybody and focus on just that – maybe then the notion of fixing the problem will become the focus.

    • charles says:

      Fetigan – Avoid using Someone else’s name to sling mud. It is rude, ignorant and unkind. Those two men have done much to help others, whether you agree with their politics or not. To continue to do is being ‘Fetigan’

      See what I mean…?

      ON the topic. Comprehensive Immigration reform has been called for. But it seems as though no one wants to have the conversation, Why?
      Now there’s an uncomfortable truth!

  70. Oh,I see now says:

    You want to differentiate between BORN Bermudians and status Bermudians just go to the airport and watch who leaves as our financial community enters into a meltdown.

  71. Rockfish #1 and #2 says:

    Many Bermudians (of all hues) are too lazy to do their own research. Instead,we listen to, and rely on radio talk shows which for the most part air opinions based on emotion, bias and ignorance. Unfortunately, a few take advantage of these people and encourage them on. This results in creating more gullible, biased, and ignorant people. Hell, in this day and age, accurate information is easy to come by!
    I am no fan of Fahy, however, but after doing my homework, it is clear that he is telling the truth.
    Before anyone starts slinging mud, try turning the television off and do your own research!

  72. Terry says:

    The law is the law.

    If people used their real names there would be 25.

    So much anger built up by propaganda spreading.

    RIP The Isle’s of Devils.


  73. Terry says:

    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it”.


  74. Cromwell says:

    There are at least 1000 children born in Bermuda with out fathers who in the past were considered illegitimate. There are children and young adults in Bermuda who do not know who their mother or father is. If they are born in Bermuda I take the position they have a Bermudian birthright.

    The physical circumstances of your birth the location and the astrological signs at the time, and your genetic blood relations have a great unseen determination of your life.

    You do not belong to the state and a child born in Bermuda does not belong to the state.

    All rights do not originate from Government.

    Privilege in today’s Bermuda cat be discriminatory but demands equality.

    A child born in Bermuda has human rights let alone Bermudian rights any thing less is a travesty to what it means to be Bermudian.