Video: Minister Walton Brown On Immigration Bill

October 19, 2017

Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown held a press conference today [Oct 19] to address a “number of concerns that have been raised” about the Bermuda Immigration And Protection [No. 2] Act, which he said will be debated tomorrow in Parliament.

Minister Brown said, “There has been a litany of comments made about what this Bill will provide and what it will do, and I’m here today to speak to a few of those points and then take some of your questions.

“First of all, this Bill will not take away anyone’s fundamental human rights. We have considered the Bill very carefully. We are mindful of our international obligations with respect to human rights, and also with respect to human rights in Bermuda.

“I’m here to say, first of all, there is no such provision in this Bill to deny or take away anyone’s human rights.

10-minute video of the full press conference:

“Secondly, this Bill is not a part of the comprehensive immigration reform process that we are currently engaged in.

“This amendment is meant to bring back into law what has been the policy and practice for more than 40 years – i.e. a recognition that those who hold Bermuda status, and also those who hold PRC, have a different set of rights when it comes to immigration matters than anyone else. It’s a clear and common practice in all democracies and we will continue to do so.

“The immigration reform process, as I have said earlier, I will continue to say, will be a collaborative process. We will engage with all key stakeholders on substantive matters of immigration reform.

“We have a timetable that leads to the immigration working group submitting their proposals to us by the end of October, and at the beginning of November, there will be a bipartisan committee that will address a number of issues.

“You would note that as a result of the meeting last week with the Human Rights Commission where we had a discussion about a range of issues relating to this particular Bill.

“We have agreed that the Human Rights Commission, a body which I hold in high esteem, will review carefully any aspect relating to this amendment and they have given an undertaking and I have also provided similar undertaking to accept that they will propose to this Government any recommendation that they see are necessary that may impact on the provision and extension of human rights to people in Bermuda of all categories of residence. We have that undertaking.”

Following his remarks, the Minister took questions from the media, and the Q&A portion can be viewed in the video above.

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Comments (42)

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  1. james says:

    The Human Rights Act is the IDEAL – in a perfect world.

    Nothing in this world is perfect.

    PLP – PASS this Amendment

    • No consultation necessary says:

      Wow. I never thought so many of my fellow Bermudians would be so supportive of diluting of and stripping out human rights. Amazing what prejudice and partisanship can do to ones morals.

      Scary world these days.

      • After decades of ubp ideology, the scales are tipping.
        Get over it, this system favoured a certain segment of society for a long time and now you cant take it.
        Boo hoo hoo.

        • nerema says:

          It’s your human rights they’re taking away as well. You’re just too moronic to take any notice.

        • bdaboy says:

          “Get over it,”

          LOL…I’ll be telling you that when you baby momma gets deported.

          LOL, OJ, you’re such a fool. LMFAO

        • Mark says:

          so if the scales tip back you wont have a problem then right?

          you cant even see the hypocrisy in that he is doing exactly what Fahy did! lol. you people make me laugh.

      • JAYBIRD says:

        Have you never heard the term ” to the victor go the spoils…”?

        • Double S says:

          So you think that a democratically elected Government is given a mandate to strip out human rights from our legislation?

          You guys are truly scary. You are worse than Trump.

        • Double S says:

          Well if that was the case then why didn’t you guys respect the OBA’s ‘victory.’ Instead you and yours enacted mob rule and threats of violence to get your way.

          Fascism is the common term for such actions.

          Nasty bunch you PLPers are. But I look forward to seeing the pain when the economy tanks because of your protectionist, isolationist and populist beliefs. I will enjoy every minute of it. As usual it will be the PLP base that suffers the most. But you get the Government (and the consequences) you so rightly deserve.

          • Lol says:

            For 4 and a half years we had to sit by and allow your OBA govt give jobs to everyone else except locals. Now thus govt wants to make sure Bermudians come first in their own country like everywhere else does in the world for their ppl and you all are crying foul with a bunch of mis information. Please tell us how is this going to affect human rights of ppl specifically? Since u all keep saying this over and over but none of u oba ppl can pinpoint how it will affect a person’s human rights. Ill wait…

      • Stand for Truth says:

        No consultation necessary: Everything is a human right to a certain segment of society with the exception of people who are of African descent whose human rights have been violated for over 400 years and these same group of people do not say a mumbling word. Our economic terrorism/apartheid and oppression is beneficial to them. But not only that it reveals the content of their heart.

        • Double S says:

          So human rights are anti-black human? Explain how that works.

          Either way yawwwnnnnn at your race card Betty….

        • bdaboy says:

          ” exception of people who are of African descent whose human rights have been violated for over 400 years ”

          More whining from the victim crowd.

          Your ancestors owned and sold slaves.
          You need to shut your racist trap and learn about your own, disgusting history.

          • Ogun hurting WS says:

            You call a group of ppl racist but make such a racist deceptive statement right afterwards. Those VICTIMS you are refereing to have every right to bring up and discuss their ongoing oppression by your good ole boy friends. You dont tell Jews that crap. 2. You tell a bold face lie of Africans selling Africans like they had a choice when the ppl you claimed sold one another into slavery were put right on the same slave boats as the ones u claimed they sold. Please tell us if Africans as a whole sold slaves then there must be a paper trail of it and where all the money went from the sales? Show us one African tribe or state that benefitted from selling slaves by showing us their wealth and resources. YOU CANT, you know why because you are telling a lie. But we can show you the Europeans and Arabics who benefitted from it even till this day.

      • Athena says:

        Indeed you are correct.

        I also never thought I would see the day when members of parliament would be voting in favour of diluting and stripping rights as occurred on October 20,2017.

        Our island has now started down the slippery slope it would seem.

    • wahoo says:

      What are you trying to say? Are you mixing up your words?

    • Herbalist says:

      We need to be like the OBA/UBP and give everyone status which helps champion their votes next election.

      Bermudian children need to be LAST and everyone gets status. Faye did say we need to grow Bermuda.

    • Mark says:

      Even though it is immoral? Even though it is taking away your human rights protections? you don’t care right? what about if another Minister decides to use this bill to discriminate against someone based on their race? would you care then? The ideal would be to do it right which is not this.

  2. Ringmaster says:

    There has been no consultation over this Bill. None. This creates mistrust, especially with Walton Brown. Had this been done by the OBA the rent a crowd would have been out in force. Never mind, the lawyers have probably already seen the loopholes and the opportunities to make vast legal fees on behalf of clients who have been affected by this Bill.

  3. Zevon says:

    It won’t take away our “fundamental” human rights.
    Whatever that is supposed to mean.
    But it will take away all our other rights.

  4. jt says:

    I will take the HRC’s this, but thanks.

  5. So real says:

    It is ridiculous to say any one has the right to decide to get Recident status on any country they wan.
    We need to set TIME LIMIT for work contracts and investigate if really these people are entitled to their position.

    • Zevon says:

      Irrelevant as well as barely literate.
      I think I can see why the passing of a law limiting human rights goes over some people’s head.

    • jt says:

      The surest and easiest way to resolve your concerns is to simply not allow foreign workers period. Bermudians will fill all of the vacant positions. Problem solved. While we’re at it we should also hire Bermudians to be our tourists – two birds, one stone with that one.

    • Clint Eastwood says:

      It’s not ridiculous after living in a country for decades and after having raised children here that know no other place as home.

      That’s a reasonable expectation of any person in any country. Sorry if you disagree.

      The people deserving of this right are not just here to steal Bermudian jobs and land, they are already a part of the community. Their kids have been raised with Bermudians and gone to the same schools. They contribute to society.

      • Stand for Truth says:

        Clint Eastwood: The way that most of them contribute to society is being gatekeepers to our oppression.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      We used to have term limits. They applied to only the lowest paid 1/3 of workers (cleaners, restaurant workers, etc.). The other 2/3 of guest workers (read “foreigners”) were exempt because we need their skills (doctors, nurses, accountants and the like).

      Why would you advocate a return to a policy which almost all accept was more about window dressing than real policy?

  6. Up D hill says:

    Let the law suits begin !

  7. frank says:

    When people come here on work permit they should only be here
    No longer than 3 years
    If their employer can not find a bermudian in that space of time than then they can apply for a extention
    A person should not be here for 20 years

    • scoob says:

      that’s literally exactly how it works at the moment…

    • bdaboy says:

      “A person should not be here for 20 years”

      Then kick them out…your plp will lose a lot of voters because of this. :)

    • Mark says:

      what happens when this affects your quality of life? its a very bad idea. I don’t want to be like some 3rd world country thank you very much.

      • bdaboy says:

        ” I don’t want to be like some 3rd world country thank you very much.”

        Way too late for that.

  8. Kevin says:

    PLP’s version of Fahy , no consultation , how a few months can make the green machine oblivious to what it is going on.

    • Stand for Truth says:

      Kevin: not even close the difference between Fahy and Walton Brown Fahy gave the descendants of those whose ancestors built this country the finger while Walton Brown is ensuring the descendants of whose who built this country are not second class citizens.

      • bdaboy says:

        Stand for Trump, your post is nothing but BS…you’re another liar who doesn’t know anything about history.
        You are as pathetic as the government you voted for.

  9. bdaboy says:

    “We need to set TIME LIMIT for work contracts and investigate if really these people are entitled to their position.”

    Will you start with “rev.” Tweed?

  10. Sabrina says:

    “a recognition that those who hold Bermuda status, and also those who hold PRC, have a different set of rights when it comes to immigration matters than anyone else”

    How is the Minister planning on discriminating against Bermuda status holders? Once a person becomes Bermudian through status, they are Bermudian.

  11. So real says:

    Terminate the No term limit please

  12. Stevie says:

    Brown. Just like your PLP crew clueless.

  13. Adrianne says:

    Yes now we should tell ALL BERMUDIANS THEY CAN NOT GO OVERSEAS TO LIVE this bill to to protect all bermudians I THINK NOT WHEN PLP SAYS BERMUDIANS they mean ALL THEIR BROTHAS AND SISTAS you will all see now expats leaving the island and those of you that have your homes RENTED TO THESE EXPATS will soon find the gravy boat all dryed up so you BERMUDIANS how would you like to be told you CANT EVER LIVE OVEREAS YOU WOULD NOT LIKE THAT WOULD YOU HELL NO whats good for the goose is good for the gander Bermuda is gone down the TOILET

  14. Adrianne says:

    By the way BURT how much did it cost us TAXPAYERS for your trip to EUORPE???????? DONT see any transparancy SO FAR