Minister: ‘Principles First’ Immigration Mandate

July 30, 2017

The Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown has issued a new mandate to members of the Immigration Reform Working Group – a mandate which focuses on a ‘principles first’ approach.

“All laws should be developed or based on sound principles,” explained Minister Brown. “That is why the creation of such principles must come before any amendments to legislation are made or even put forward.

“The principles I want to see embraced when it comes to immigration reform are ones rooted in a sense of justice for all parties within the context of ‘Bermudians coming first’ while also maintaining a framework that will foster continued growth in the business sector, using a friendly and accommodating approach.”

The group, which was formed in April 2016, was previously tasked with proposing amendments to the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956.

In a letter to the group’s members this week, the Minister stated the terms of reference for the group as the following:

  • Continue the work on the survey. It is important to obtain sound statistics in order to make effective decisions. [The survey is designed to collect data on mixed status families].
  • Recommend the principles by which new policies will effect legislation in relation to: mixed status families; additional categories of Permanent Resident certificates, if applicable; and additional categories of Bermudian status, if applicable.
  • Produce a final report by no later than 31st October 2017.

“I would like to publicly thank the Immigration Reform Working Group for their participation over the past year,” said the Minister.

“The group has worked really well together. Their input has been and continues to be invaluable. The work to this point will certainly go a long way in accomplishing the reform of the Immigration Act. ”

The Minister will no longer be a member of the group, as he had been previously. All other members will remain the same.

“Once the report is completed by the deadline of October 31st, the Ministry will then launch a rigorous, island-wide consultation process with the public, the Opposition Party and various stakeholder groups, which will last for three months, concluding in the New Year,” the Ministry said.

“We want to give the public a fair amount of time to consider the principles put forward by the working group as well as other issues related to immigration reform inclusive of the work permit policy,” said the Minister.

“The question of immigration reform has been a challenging one, with many distinct groups effected by it. Our intention is to create a truly inclusive and collaborative approach to get the best fit for Bermuda. I look forward to an engaged public on this matter.”

“Only after this extensive three month consultation period will changes to both Legislation and Policy be proposed,” the Ministry noted.

“Members of the public may recall that the completion of comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform is one of the items of priority highlighted on the Government’s agenda.”

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Comments (39)

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  1. Get ‘em Brown. Gotta be persons here under that horrible oba. Sift them out and then tell them,”Get cracking.”
    Can’t go to their countries and do anything like they have done here.
    The lengthy rope has FINALLY reached its end.
    Thank God!!!

    • bdaboy says:

      ” Sift them out and then tell them,”Get cracking.””

      You talking about tweed?

    • Chaos Theory says:

      Xenophobic much?

    • Bad nanny says:

      Hopefully Tweed is the first to go

    • Bad nanny says:

      You all forget who put feet first on this island……

      • Ringmaster says:

        @havesomebackbone. Careful what you wish for. Maybe there are skeletons in your family history and you’ll be told to leave.

    • Wow says:

      So I bump into a foreign doctor who has been here since 1992 thus missing the deadline for PRC and status. At his level I am sure he has been paid a fortune but said out loudly to everyone present he was a slave waiting each year for his permit to be renewed. Can you imagine he could have gone elsewhere and was demanding his right to status. He never said a word to the oba and clearly if he felt he was a slave why did he and his family stay when they were told over and over that renewals did not mean he could have expectation to citizenship and he knew I would not be afforded so many rights in his native country. We hear it all the time. So I told him I. The USA they have to pass a written test. He said that was nonsense. So I asked him how many parishes we should have and he said 5 or 6 whatever.

      • fu says:

        ” So I told him I. The USA they have to pass a written test. He said that was nonsense. So I asked him how many parishes we should have and he said 5 or 6 whatever.”

        You smokin’ meth?

      • Zevon says:

        Was this doctor you spoke to your psychiatrist? Did you take the little tablets he recommended?

    • Hair says:

      Too Backbone, what you talking about??? Lotta Bermudians moving to England and living off that government, so what you saying to that, send them back.. Ouch

    • Mark says:

      You disgust me. I hope to god you are not a bermudian and just some troll. I dont want people like you in my country. Get crackin yaself!

  2. Onion says:

    What principles?

  3. Mr. Mike H says:

    I walk around like everything is fine, but deep down, inside my shoe, my sock is sliding off.

  4. John Joseph says:

    Maybe Mr Fahy can take Walton’s place.

  5. What? says:

    Never have so many words been used to say so little.

    • Just the facts says:

      Sadly, I think we might need to get used to that.
      First 100 days shall prove interesting. Talk about the need to “get cracking!”

  6. frank says:

    no body wants to ever hear from Fahy again

    • Bad nanny says:

      Um Fahy is Bermudian.Tweed not so much

      • Onion Juice says:

        Tweed fought for Rights and Justice for Bermudians, Fahy legislated Laws that disadvantaged Bermudians.

        • bdaboy says:

          “Tweed fought for Rights and Justice for Bermudians,”

          LOL, more comedy from oj.

          Tweed did nothing for bermuda except divide….you disgust me.

        • just wondering says:

          what rights are those? Doesn’t the BIPA already provide for Bermudian rights in the workplace?

        • Bda Nanny says:

          He along with others caused a big problem, he had no right being involved. He was part of holding back politicians from doing their job that we pay them for.

          No Rev in my eyes

    • Cmkbda says:

      I’m happy to hear from Fahy again. While he may not have approached issues, or introduced them to the public in the best way, he still had legitimate ideas in order to solve problems which need addressing.

  7. Zevon says:

    Well there’s a whole load of nothing.

  8. jt says:

    So carry on. Got it. Thanks for that.

  9. Ringmaster says:

    Remember how the PLP raised the emotions a few years ago by demanding an inquiry into Tuckers Town and the land transfers way back? It was a big issue and they threatened not going back to the House if the Governor refused, which he did and they did?

    I will lay odds nothing will be said now, despite them being the Government? Why, because they knew the OBA would not bite because the PLP could use it against them. It won’t be demanded now because the PLP know many of their supporters have benefited. It would result in many families in Hamilton Parish to pay reparations or give up their property interests. All connected to Immigration and history.

    • Nikon says:

      As the progeny of the one of the “evicted” family I would gladly welcome justice to be done. Would you not?

      • Toodle-oo says:

        FYI ( and I bet you don’t know anything about this at all) there were 4 other very significant compulsory purchase orders in Bermuda’s history .
        Large swaths of Devonshire , St David’s , everything north of Watford Bridge in Sandy’s and Morgan’s Point’s surrounding acreage were all transferred in similar fashion.
        There were far more people affected , in many multiples , than those affected by the T/Town CPO and they weren’t compensated as well as the T/T residents . But for some reason we never hear from their ‘progeny’ . I wonder why ?

        Oh yeah , that’s right , T/T land went from a rough rural farm area into a wealthy man’s neighbourhood .

  10. 4ner says:

    Sink the island! King of the ashes… or little bit remaining, in this case

  11. SC says:

    To read all these comments of how certain people want non-bermudians or prc holders to go is sad. I don’t agree what Fahy wanted to do but as a child of two Portuguese parents and was born in bermuda, I feel like I am out of place. I can not control that my parents were not born here but the fact that there kids who were born here, and went to school here, get told to go back to their country is outright disrespectful, by law I am not consider bermudian but my birth certificate says I am born here. I AM BERMUDIAN!!!! If I’m Portuguese, Asian, Jamaican, etc. We should have our rights to be bermudians, and have our status. My parents have pay their dues to this country, belco, rent, food, clothing, medical bills, insurance, payroll tax, and more add 30years of that to bermudas economy. PLP says there is two bermudas, well maybe there is because they make it feel that way! They same way PLP fought for their rights, I will fight for mines. If you don’t want to give people with work permits bermuda status at least think about the kids who were born here. To be honest I don’t think a lot of you realize of how many kids get deported back to their parents countries, why because after the age of 18 they can get go to college if their parents can afford it or leave the country. Tell me is this government fair?

  12. Coffee says:

    Glad to see the concrete trucks outside of Govt.Admid building sealing the loophole

    Because of Fayhe , the amendments made should further discourage people from thinking that Bermuda is wide open for immigration abuses

    Fayhe in his time put a bad taste in Bermudians mouths for comprehensive reforms

    He destroyed confidence in govt. To protect the locals from invasive minded foreigners

  13. Mark says:

    Lol. So funny. What happens when they realize that they have to do pathways? For two main reasons: its morally and legally required and the other reason, it is necessary to kepp the lifestyle we bermudians, including the xenophobic bigots on here, are used to. So ironic. The plp and their followers should be known as the irony party from now on. Lol.

  14. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, it took all the kings horses and all the kings men to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

  15. CT says:

    Please can we get rid of the requirement for Bermudians who have children abroad to be Bermuda domiciled? Domicile is passed via the individual’s father in common law so if the Bermudian’s father was born abroad, the Bermudian’s domicile is not Bermuda. This means that we have the situation where a born Bermudian may not pass Bermuda status onto his/her child at birth if that child is born abroad (although can apply for status at age 18 with red tape and cost). If you’re a born Bermudian, you should be able to pass status onto your child regardless if the child was born here. This is particularly relevant for Bermudians who are mature students abroad or working abroad in their 20s and 30s. We have a declining Bermudian birth rate so let’s take the low hanging fruit to increase the birth rate and, therefore, the Bermudian population in the future.

  16. Fernando G says:

    We’re proud of you, dear Walton! This is politics at its best. Abrazo, Fernando

  17. Silence Do Good says:

    “Bermudian status, if applicable.”

    What do you mean by that statement Minister Brown?

    Please do not create a class system based on heritage or one parent is an expat etc.

    Solve the human rights issues first of separating families.

    Then solve the annoying controversial problem of persons who spent a significant portion of their life here have some means of obtaining Bermudian status. Not some form of second class status or PRC but a finish line in belonger status.

  18. Coffee says:

    Reform means one thing … Plug the loophole

  19. fu says:

    “Plug the loophole”

    I wish you’d plug your hole