Video: MP Walton Brown On Immigration

February 12, 2016

“There is widespread discontent at the Government’s refusal to engage in a sensible, bipartisan level of discussion and negotiation about what are clearly very important issues,” MP Walton Brown said today.

This follow after the Government announced they plan to amend the law, with changes to include any person who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 15 years becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency, and any permanent resident who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 20 years becoming eligible to apply for Bermudian status.

Speaking outside the House of Assembly today, Mr Brown told Bernews, “The Government’s direction is deeply disturbing because they will make changes that have a very clear political intent.

“They will make changes that have a very clear racialized component. In a country which has been devastated and fragmented by matters of race, there should be far greater consideration given to the impact of policies.

“Some of us have been calling for a number of years now for a reform, a comprehensive reform, and the Government has rejected it. What we have now is a set of proposals by Government that are singularly divisive, and will lead to a continuation of levels of discontent.

“I think what we saw take place in Parliament today is only the beginning, because there is widespread discontent at the Government’s refusal to engage in a sensible, bipartisan level of discussion and negotiation about what are clearly very important issues.

“We know there needs to be reform. We know there need to be clear policies, but those policies need to be taken in a way that is considerate of all the opinions and positions of the diversity that is reflected in this country.”

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Comments (70)

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  1. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    According to BerNews’ poll, that discontent really isn’t that widespread

    • The Original Truth says:

      I tested bernews poll and it’s flawed. Not saying it’s rigged in any way it’s just not working properly. Technology isn’t always perfect and shouldn’t be relied on solely for true data collection especially when it’s from open source software.

      • backakillme says:

        You tested it ? Stop talking such ignorance , go pick up your 5 dollars from Alaska Hall and go home .

        • The Original Truth says:

          Your the one who is ignorant to think that there isn’t a Bermudian who has the capabilities of testing online technology. It’s quite easy when knowing how to read code. It’s even easier when it’s built in an open source code in wordpress with themes like tubepress. It’s even easy to manipulate like those OBA supporters who think everyone who is not a crony like them supports the PLP. I don’t support the lot at Alaska Hall and neither do I support the lot above music box. With one swoop of technology knowledge your 0 dislikes turn to lucky number 13. in a matter of seconds. Not bad for one of ve igrant Bermewjan Byes HUH?

    • If that is the case, then the oba wouldn’t have a problem being reelected if a snap election was called right now

      • Spit Bouy says:

        @ George Courtney,

        Still going on with that are we? LOL. Just face it, the PLP lost the last election & if Bermudians are paying attention they will lose the next one as well. Besides the OBA doesn’t have to call a snap election just because you and your ilk wish it so enjoy the ride & keep moaning.

    • Ian says:

      So you find that a reliable indication when most people blogging on Bernews are those more likely to support the OBA’s stance on anything? Start with the fact they are folks sitting in front of computers during the day, likely in office jobs and those who have to luxury of doing it from home while most are working (typically not in front of a computer). From there look at comments, largely from the same old mouth pieces, that speak to a clear disdain for anything PLP. Yeah Im sure those polls are so representative of the majority…. But doesnt matter… you OBA’ers will continue to play dumb regardless.

      • Bermyman says:

        So by your logic, Walton’s mouth has less of a bias than an online media survey. OK -Sure.

      • Nai says:

        @Ian, have you ever turned on the radio during the daytime? It is filled with Bermudians, (like you say) largely from the same old mouth pieces, that speak to a clear disdain for anything OBA. Yeah Im sure those talk shows are so representative of the majority.

    • Widget says:

      The single problem with this country is simply because you view things as BLACK & WHITE – OBA & PLP. Until such time as you see yourselves and Bermudians and work together as a people nothing will ever change and you will go nowhere as a people/county. Good luck and for your sake I hope to God the US government doesn’t pull the plug on this country being a tax haven, you’ll be a third world country with your racial problems and a dollar worth $0.05 US.

  2. Kangoocar says:

    Walton, is clueless once again!! What was Truly ” singularly divisive ” was your plp stating ” WE DONT CARE WHAT YOU THINK ” were was your cries of disgust then Walton???, The waltons/plp need to understand for once and for all, this needs to happen for the sake of Bermuda’s future!!! If the plp/xenophobes can’t understand it?? So be it!!! The waltons/plps time would be better spent educating their supporters on the need for this as opposed to the day that surely will come if they have their way with opposing this, that they themselves are going to look very silly when they are the government once again, and they are faced with telling what few Bermudians are left here ( all plp supporters ) that they can’t pay them because the plp have run out of options for borrowing more money!!!!

  3. Ringmaster says:

    The people request the PLP to set out clearly and publically what reform the PLP are demanding.

    • O'Brien says:

      Here’s the answer: they want to postpone reform until after the next election (which they feel certain they will win) and then promptly…do nothing.

      • Zevon says:

        They’ll eventually do the same thing as is being proposed now. Only if it’s the PLP doing it, it will take five times as long and cost three times as much. And when the legislation is finally passed it will have mistakes in it.

    • Lala says:

      Walton and the PLP will find an excuse to complain about anything the Government proposed. Even if they personally agreed wit it. Wonder why the PLP in their 14+years didn’t ‘fix immigration’ probably because they knew they would have to do exactly what the OBA are doing.

      Or it could be that they couldn’t figure a way to line their pockets as a result!

    • If that is the case, then the oba wouldn’t have a problem being reelected if a snap election was called right now

  4. Hmmm says:

    When Walton speaks All he says is Me me me me me me me me .

    • Ian says:

      Wow… you got 28 likes for THAT?? Really starting to speak to the quality of OBA supporters.

    • Sidney says:

      Hilarious ! There are not even that many comments and you got so many likes? Oh well that’s what you get pay for right to comment and like it yourself …. LOL

  5. MULATO says:

    blow it out of your rear, race race race unless it suits you SICK OF IT This island will never grow to be anything until you figure that blood is red not BLACK or white

  6. swing voter says:

    is it really as bad an idea as its portrayed? maybe it is but its our own fault. we love playing racially motivated games with each other, and nothing was done to effectively shift the wealth between 1998 – 2012

    • Sidney says:

      During those years there was already a lot of work contracts getting passed so I get they are not helping our economy except for the expats Bermuda reply needs

  7. Real says:

    Sheesh! Sounds like the PLP would have told Lois Browne Evans to get cracking. No status for her either.

  8. Longtail says:

    “…..there is widespread discontent at the Government’s refusal to engage in a sensible, bipartisan level of discussion and negotiation…..”??????
    Er, no…… it was Beanie who said the PLP would refuse discussions with the OBA.
    Just who is speaking for the PLP now?????

  9. steve says:

    keep criticizing opposition ideas but do not provide any of your own. What is the plp plan and what was it when you were government and was it successful. Lets debate & compare your proposed plan…play fair with your people. Give us something real…i mean real!

  10. Zevon says:

    Being anti-foreigneris really the only thing the PLP stands for. There iis nothing else they can offer.

  11. San George says:

    Walton, until your people get economic power you are pissing in the wind. With economic power, next time you want to spend all the taxpayers money it will be your own. Man up!

    Quo Fata Ferunt

  12. I totally agree with you “Ringmaster” M.P. Walton Brown needs to go lay down and cease,(attempting to)create more trouble :-(

  13. Hoolieh says:

    Walton:

    Be honest with all of us! This is politrics!
    65% of Bermudians are black, will this change this statistic much?
    The PLP had 14 years to implement immigration reform.
    This is NO longer the 1960′s.
    You’re stirring up hatred. Shameful! Where are the adult politicians?
    I guess the PLP is desperate to regain control of the public purse.

    Concerned Bermudian

    BTW, there’s no money left in the purse.

  14. Maple Leaf in Pink Sand says:

    We are yet to receive information as to why this proposed policy should be considered racist. Is there data on the demographic of those persons who would be eligible for status/prc under this proposed legislation? Does the policy state which race is eligible?

    The way I see it this is about economics. Plain and simple. Those who would be eligible have made a commitment to this country by ‘asking’ (yes. They ask each time a permit is renewed) to stay here all this time. Allowing them to obtain status/prc will only encourage them to invest more than they already have. These are people who are working here and already contributing to the bottom line of this wonderful country. We should be honored that they want to stay here and welcome with open arms.

    • Ian says:

      Please give it a rest… This island owes you nothing. You came here because it was the better alternative. Half of you stayed here on back to back work permit renewals because of the underhanded practices of preferential treatment. You think nobody saw this coming? You people come here in humility, typically from places that pale in comparison as it regarding lifestyle and then you convince yourselves WE owe you something after you’ve been here making money hand over fist compared to your real homes. And then you want to have the audacity to believe you should have a say in how MY country is governed all while retaining the vote in YOUR HOME. Nobody is hearing your sob story. We have our own.

  15. Jus' Askin' says:

    I say grant status but they should not be able to vote or get a Bermudian Passport ;-)

    • Lois Frederick says:

      What are you talking about? What you just proposed is PRC.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Ah yes, taxation without representation. Sounds perfectly reasonable.

      • Jus' Askin' says:

        It is the middle ground that can please both sides ;-)

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          So you are saying to them, ‘we acknowledge you as a part of the community, but you have to drink from that water fountain’… given that they will have lived and contributed here more than most first time born voters, they should have the right to vote too.

          • Jus' Askin' says:

            Thus the OBA’s push for this, nothing to do with Human Rights, it is TRULY about the votes ;-)

    • Onlooker says:

      This is my greatest issue with some of the opportunistic people in this country……..they just want to use non-Bermudians and then dispose of them. You welcome our expertise and money but do not want us to benefit from the country we are dedicating our lives to for many years? When Bermudians reside and then become citizens in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, and the UK don’t you get to participate in all aspects of these cultures? You are allowed to vote and receive other benefits while paying your taxes. Stop being so abusive.

      • Ian says:

        Abusive… good luck selling that one to the majority of Bermudians here. You people came here because BERMUDA OFFERED YOU a situation you couldnt say no to. And you made plenty of money, compared to home, as a result. We do NOT owe you a damn thing, especially the right to vote in OUR COUNTRY will you retain the right to vote in yours. Bermuda is not the USA, Canada or any of the other massive nations you people insist on looking so daft trying to make the case on. WE OWE YOU NOTHING.

    • Happy says:

      You don’t have to be Bermudian to have a Bermuda passport. As weird as that seems I was told that by Immigration when the “registered Bermudian” stamp thing happened several years back.

    • GoodIdea BadIdea says:

      Isn’t that just PRC? Or are we going to create yet another class of citizen somewhat higher than PRC but not quite status Bermudian?

      It’s pretty plain that the previous administration was at least partially responsible for the people who are here now – everyone here who has been here between 15-18 years arrived under the PLP administration, the rest under the last years of the UBP. Really who created the problem? Despite the current administration creating systems where much more burden is placed on the employer, it’s still apparently the OBA’s fault.

  16. Keeping pace says:

    Minister Fahy says that Mr Brown’s and CURBS comments are absurb. What I think is absurb is that people are brought here to work for hotels police, hospital, schools and companies etc for 15 – 20 years and it is the Bermudian public’s who are told that you have to embrace them and endorse their citizenship. I have never understood why this takes place. These people work under contracts with their employers not Joe blow Bermuda. Under these contracts some are paid more then the Bermudians to do the same job, given housing allowance and other perks like cars, private education for children born while here. None of which is afforded to their Bermidian counterparts. They transfer much of their personal salaries out of the country and purchase homes in their countries and second homes in their favorite vacation sites and after all that, want us to give them status so that the can live here and vote and tell Joe blow Bermuda how to live. All because they were contracted to come to Bermuda to work. So sorry, I really think that what is absurb is Minister Fahy thinks we do not see through this fallacy. Granting foreigners Bermuda status has never been about just increasing Bermuda’s population. It is about increase the voting population in favor of those passing the laws giving persons their path to Bermuda citizenship. In Bermuda only a very narrow number of whites will vote black. White Bermudian will simply not vote rather than vote PLP. It has been that way my whole life and I was not born yesterday. OBA call a spade a spade. Bermudians are not stupid we see right through you!

    • JD says:

      “only a very narrow number of whites will vote black”

      I’m just going to go ahead and assume that “black” is your own little deluded personal code for the PLP, given that 60% of the OBA Cabinet is…black.

      Let me ask you which is more likely.

      1) There is some vast political conspiracy where all the white people in Bermuda got together and decided never to vote for a specific party.

      2) A specific party constantly spews political rhetoric that alienates a white minority in order to appeal to a black majority. This would guarantee that they will never receive a large white vote, but will (hopefully) get a large enough percentage vote from the black majority to carry the day.

      People vote for a party that appeals to their interests and values, not one that openly states that they “need to feel uncomfortable”

      • Keeping pace says:

        I am not a member of either party, so my comments are not based on any party rhetoric but history. Politics in Bermuda has always been skewed in favor of segment of the community and that segment is not black. So you pick the bones out of what color they are.

        It does not matter whether 60% of the OBA government is black. Party politics does not permit them to vote according to their conscience for every vote. If it did maybe laws that the Bermudian people do not want, like this immigration legislation, civil unions, the airport and now education reform would all die on the floor of the House. But they do not because it does not matter that there are 60% of the black MP sitting on the government side of the House. They must all walk party lines when voting.

        You are absolutely correct white people are only comfortable voting for themselves or those who they control. So I cannot refute this comment.

      • Ian says:

        It never ceases to amaze how much effort you people put into lawyering yourselves out of the blatantly obvious dynamics of society which have persisted for YEARRRRRS. There is not conspiracy. Whites do not traditionally support black political movements in Bermuda… Blacks have traditionally joined white political movements largely as a means of “getting up”… Stop pretended youre completely deluded on how Bermuda works. There is no possible way you could be THAT naive as a FULLY GROWN ADULT!

  17. Sue sanders says:

    15 years is quite absurd since there is not wort permit limit anymore, there are thousand of them and 0ba want to bring more people.

  18. jt says:

    Widespread – no.

    Thickly spread – yes.

  19. Terry says:

    Everything is about race.
    I am moving into the forest.
    Next they wanna ban chocolate.

  20. JY says:

    Mr. Brown seems to imply that all these status seekers will be white. It would be interesting to find data to support or reject that premise. based on the data in the last census, I would suspect there will be more Filipino, Jamaican, and Indian/Sri lankan contenders than he expects. But without the data, we won’t know. In any case, I do believe that people who have embedded themselves in a community over two decades (a generation) deserve a path to calling that place officially home. Even if Mr. Walton is correct and the OBA motives are cynical and self serving, it doesn’t change the human rights argument in my view. The Uighur situation needs to be addressed in a similar fashion.

    • JY says:

      *mr. brown not mr. Walton as I put above

    • So true: “Mr. Brown seems to imply that all these status seekers will be white. It would be interesting to find data to support or reject that premise…Based on the data in the last census, I would suspect there will be more Filipino, Jamaican, and Indian/Sri Lankan contenders than he expects”.
      There are far-more than many wish to believe. Yes, there should be /need be a breakdown on how many are from elsewhere and then lets ask M.P. Walton Brown and his associates what they have to say…Oh by the way, when my Filipino wife and I were married in the Philippines back in 1998 she was only eligible to vote due to the former Government, the Progressive Labour Party.

      • Ian says:

        The OBA gave whites a head start when they started giving access to PRC status to senior executives in companies. Go to Dept of Immigration and ask for stats on how many foreign Tuckers Town / Fairylands / Paget / Trimmingham Hill residents (coincidentally enough??) got their status over the past year. And frankly it will mostly be whites that are paying the “stiff fees” Fahy claims he will be levying for those who want access… Again its almost shocking how much denial you people are in.

  21. Lois Frederick says:

    To have any real credibility one this issue, the plp have to offer details of their alternative plan. Until then it is all noise.

    • Ian says:

      Im glad you think “because its the right thing to do” suffices as adequate justification for forcing something on the Bermudian populous that is this significant, controversial and likely to seriously perpetuate divisiveness to dangerous new levels.

  22. Widget says:

    I honestly get it. Mr. Brown and the PLP will do and say anything to make the government of the day look bad. Problem for then is this government is doing the right thing by giving these families the right to live as Bermudians in a country they have known for most if not all of there lives.it would be wrong not to. Message to the PLP. Get over it.

  23. IslandTeacher says:

    Walton will manage to single handedly reduce our population by continuing to make his highly politicised and anti minority remarks. He knows full well that the draconian immigration laws can only continue because the British offer that worthless passport, the British Overseas Citizen. Not recognised as having belonger Status. Come independence, Walton and his friends will have to offer citizenship unless they want to kick everyone out who do not convince them that they will vote PLP.

    Spell out your policy on immigration reform or shut up!

    • Ian says:

      Yeah Im so sure folks will leave when they find themselves having to continue on here on the basis they were made fully aware of on day one…

  24. Widget says:

    The single problem with this country is simply because you view things as BLACK & WHITE – OBA & PLP. Until such time as you see yourselves and Bermudians and work together as a people nothing will ever change and you will go nowhere as a people/county. Good luck and for your sake I hope to God the US government doesn’t pull the plug on this country being a tax haven, you’ll be a third world country with your racial problems and a dollar worth $0.05 US.

  25. Tom Cooke says:

    It’s ok.. wait till 2017… and the PLP gain power once again… and that sound you hear… for a few grants of status. .. we can … hopefully get our colective heads above water… with all this device talk.. all it does is drive the very people we are trying to atract here… me… I’ve been out of work for 3 months… and yes.. iam white… lol

  26. Anyone for a Judgment says:

    So Please. Someone tell me is Dr. Ian Kawaley ******** I know it sounds bias but shouldn’t we know this. Just asking because it seems to be this man alone with Minister Fahy are the ones who are sending this country to hell in a basket and QUICK. Are these two partners of the same institution as it seems so orchestrated that Minister’s Fahy’s problem/solution reaks of issues at the top most level.
    The chief justice is at the forefront of these issues facing Bermuda so doesn’t it reason that we should check to see if he really has clean hands. Many judges in a lifetime have been crooked, why should we not check his house because surely he will be affecting ours. If the system is broken, we should look to fix it and fast. I would expect it should be a panel of competent judges not just one man – who can be easily swayed. Just saying people, we do have people in our society who are not always honest and that is from the top to the bottom. Something just don’t seem right between the Fahy/Kawaley

  27. Ringmaster says:

    Walton Brown is a backbencher having been relieved of his ministerial and committee duties by Marc Bean due presumably to his disagreements with the leadership. As such it is very unlikely he is speaking on behalf of the PLP. So my earlier comment still applies. What is the PLP’s position?

    Back to Br. Brown. Why is he so upset that a person who has lived here 15 years shouldn’t get PRC? The PLP introduced PRC and as they were the Government for 14 years (then add in 3 years OBA) most eligible persons would seem to have come here post 1998, or care of the PLP.

  28. Widespread discontent. I think not says:

    The only discontent we all have is our fatigue with the PLP and their talking heads being out of step with the issues really confronting this country.

    When will you all stop the fabrication and spin and invoke some creative strategic thinking.

    This sounds like a bunch of petulant children.

    Move on Mr Brown. This is a human rights issue.

    These actions are disgraceful our neighbors and friends impacted derves better.

  29. Jerry says:

    Yawwwnnnnn

  30. Enough says:

    Indeed it is a racial issue. You just made it one by all your comments Walton. Disgraceful once again from this MP.

  31. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Interesting how everything either is attributed to voting ,,,,Black,, or White,,.Interesting how we assume that E.T.Richards for instance is Black.Also that Wayne Furbert is Black.As a man Thinketh,so is He.Man is Mind!Changing Parties that you run for or Vote for,does not necessarily ,change ones thinking.A man convinced against ,his will,is Of the Same Opinion Still.The sum total of a man is his Philosophy,Mindset,Thinking,Education ,or Indoctrination so to speak,or his Experiences ,in his or her lives.What he loves and Worships holds his Loyalty and his Affection. Not the colour of one’s skin.Peace.

  32. Loquat Juice says:

    This is absoloutely absurd!! Wake up all you staunch plp supporting haters! White people are LEAVING bermuda in droves! They are not flocking here as all the haters would have you beleive. Why on earth would they? There are so many hatefull, racial and discriminatory people on this island in the last two decades. Its the reason I a “white person” left! So I could raise my children in a positive, non racial environment! And trust me when I say that I among many others are not afraid to tell any would be visitor to the island how it has REALLY become! To any of the haters who may read this- Gove yourself a pay on the back! Youve done your job of turning people away from this Island!
    Signed,

    Never coming back in this current environement

  33. some beach says:

    Thtop thinking lemonth and live well with others!