Group Urge Govt To Withdraw ‘Unfortunate Bill’

October 18, 2017

The ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform’ group said they have “strong concerns about the Government’s recently tabled Immigration Bill, and said they “implore and urge the Government to withdraw this unfortunate Bill and to allow its Comprehensive Immigration Reform process to unfold.”

A spokesperson said, “The individuals behind the ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform’ Facebook group and our members have strong concerns about the Government’s recently tabled Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment [No. 2] Act 2017. We support the Human Rights Commission’s call for the Bill to be withdrawn.

“The Bill would remove the ‘supremacy’ of the Human Rights Act 1981 [HRA] when it comes to immigration legislation. In other words, the Courts are going to be told to ignore anti-discrimination provisions in any future immigration challenges.

“The HRA protects all residents in Bermuda in the fields of employment, accommodation and services from discrimination based on:

  • race, place of origin, colour, or ethnic or national origins;
  • sex or sexual orientation;
  • marital status;
  • disability;
  • family status;
  • religion or beliefs or political opinions; or
  • criminal record, except where there are valid reasons relevant to the nature of the particular offence for which he is convicted that would justify the difference in treatment.

“This has real consequences for many of our members and supporters. People who were born or who have become registered as British Overseas Territories Citizens / Bermuda Passport holders [BOTCs] will no longer be able to work.

“Many of these people are the family and friends of Bermudians who have no other way of getting protection in Bermuda – which, for many, is the only community they have ever known. Some may ultimately be removed from Bermuda.

“The Bill would have the unfortunate effect of returning Bermuda to a bizarre legal position where BOTCs who are naturalized [sometimes, after as little as 3 years] have very broad protections in law to live and work in Bermuda, whereas BOTCs born in Bermuda and who have lived here their entire lives, have nothing. The Court of Appeal already described this anomaly as “unfortunate”.

“The Bill will also affect many Bermudians directly. Unmarried Bermudians in same sex relationships will no longer have protections for their non-Bermudian partner. Bermudian women married to non-Bermudians will receive fewer protections in law than Bermudian men who are similarly married.

“We also believe that the Bill would put Bermuda in direct breach of its international legal obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and various Human Rights Treaties under the United Nations, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“It is clear that long established common law traditions, such as the protection against being deprived of rights without due process of law, are under threat.

“We believe that this piece of legislation should not be pursued in advance of the Minister’s efforts of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. It seems odd that he would want to pursue this piece in isolation, especially as there are wide-ranging ramifications.

“Quite apart from all this, Bermudians who care about Human Rights should be concerned when protections in law are watered down. It may primarily just be ‘foreigners’ today, but it could be any other group tomorrow.

“What’s most unfortunate is that it appears this Bill was tabled in the House of Assembly with very little consultation or collaboration.

“We agree wholeheartedly with the need to protect Bermuda for Bermudians. However, as we have always said, this should extend to persons who are thoroughly Bermudian in their hearts and who know no other home than Bermuda, but for whom the law has failed to make provision.

“We once again implore and urge the Government to withdraw this unfortunate Bill and to allow its Comprehensive Immigration Reform process to unfold.”

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Comments (18)

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  1. I wonder who this group consist of.

    • fuzzy says:

      Well, the group that could be potentially affected by this hamfisted legislative change includes 100% of us.

    • Shameful says:

      Are you concerned they don’t like you and therefore shouldn’t have any rights even thought some of them were born here?

      • WHAT? says:

        SOoooooooooo everyone who’s born here should receive Bermuda status.
        Are you crazy…. These people have another place to call home, which is where their parents originally came from, before deciding to work in Bermuda for more MONEY!!!!!!!!! Stop with the puppy dog cries they have passports for a place they call home. which they claim through their parents.

        • FU says:

          “SOoooooooooo everyone who’s born here should receive Bermuda status.
          Are you crazy…. These people have another place to call home, which is where their parents originally came from”

          when will you be leaving?

    • Toodle-oo says:

      They’re people who don’t have your hangups

  2. Eyes wide open says:

    The oba/UBPer lost because they didn’t put Bermudians first!!!!!

    Fahy’s push to give everyone status is the very reason they lost. Makes you wonder if they still invite him for tea. Why don’t the oba/UBP 12 seat party organize a march or protest! In this day and age you need to be strong and stand for what the believe in or sit down and shut up.

    • I think de last option is Great.

      • Double S says:

        That’s because you PLPers are fast becoming anti-democratic fascists.

    • jt says:

      You think this bill only affects non-Bermudians (which still isn’t good, or right) but it will affect Bermudians, and not necessarily positively, as you believe. It has the potential to put some Bermudians “first” – a you put it – but at some point “first” might not be you, or your relative, or your friend.

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      “Why don’t the oba/UBP 12 seat party organize a march or protest!” Because that march would be like Fahy’s gathering on parliament, divided by ethnicity.

  3. Smiths says:

    Eyes Wide Open…really?

    • Herbalist says:

      The OBA will never have a march. The party was weak when they won in 2012 and in 2017 all I see is pure butter. The party has no B A L Ls.

      • Double S says:

        The Party respects democracy…the other one, not so much.

  4. Laurain says:

    Bermuda such a small island can not keep taking more people. PLP needs to get rid of no time limits for contract workers. Many of them are planning get citizenship wich will leave more Bermudians off work. Wich is exactly what OBA had planned.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      More like it has to do with your irrational fear of people who don’t look like you getting the vote .
      Plan and simple . That’s at the very root of all this nonsense .

  5. e. gamble says:

    Supporting Immigration Reform Group should start a “Petition”.
    Take your grievances to Lord Ahmad of the FCO.
    Who in this day and age has the right to take away (any)
    basic right(s) from another human being?
    Bermudians returning to the dark ages.
    Hopefully this nonsense will be stopped in it’s tracts.
    Just remember their is always more than one way to get things done. UK is only 6 hours away.