Column: Journey Towards Immigration Reform

March 7, 2020 | 2 Comments

[Opinion column written by MP Chris Famous]

Exactly four years ago this week, thousands of Bermudians embarked on a journey to down tools, take their children out of schools and to leave their homes.

This journey took them to the heart of Hamilton, in order to surround Parliament day and night for 5 days. Lest we forget, thousands of Bermudians of all ages, encamped around the House of Assembly feeding each other, praying with each other and reassuring each other.

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These Bermudians did so to prevent legislation that was a stark reminder of a time that immigration was used to propel those who arrived from the United Kingdom ahead of those who had lived here for centuries

They stood arms in arms to prevent legislation that they felt would give thousands the ability to work here without work permits.

They left their churches because they knew that legislation would have damaged their children’s hopes and aspirations for a better future.

Through that historic stance, that legislation never came to fruition.

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Progress

Two years ago, a bipartisan committee was formed to seek and bring balance to the myriad of issues surrounding immigration.

It has been a journey that four members of the committee, have had to take to learn to trust one another in doing what is right for all Bermudians and residents of Bermuda.

It has been a journey of hearing the views of all concerned. A journey of setting the first stages for changes that see us lay legislation that will encourage Bermudians and their children to return home.

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A journey, that will allow those born and raised in Bermuda, to gain a place of permanency.

If we are honest with each other, events over the last week, have shown us that we have a long way to go as a country to reconcile our economic disparities, racial imbalances and immigration needs.

This week, we have begun that journey, that ensures that all of our people, will never have the need to surround Parliament again.

- Chris Famous

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Comments (2)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    “They stood arms in arms to prevent legislation that they felt would give thousands the ability to work here without work permits.

    They left their churches because they knew that legislation would have damaged their children’s hopes and aspirations for a better future.”

    Just because you keep saying this, doesn’t make it true. We all know Comprehensive Immigration Reform is ten years too late. And we know those marchers were lied to, and continue to be lied too.

    We know the island is dying economically because of the stupidity of protectionist polices. WE know what was presented on Friday, while being a start, was woefully inadequate, doesn’t apply retroactively and should have been a quick easy fix to address anomalies within the current legislation. As such it demonstrates why the PLP couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery with leaky barrels. The sneaky way the December retail figures were released late Friday show how adrift, inept and cowardly the PLP are.

    Brannon should not have used the language he did, but the core message is the same. The parliamentary PLP group are failing Bermuda daily, and their inability or unwillingness to act is nearing the point of no return. Someone needs to ask COG Mk2 how much longer Bermuda can afford to support it’s debt burden given the demographic abyss we are facing.

    Close to 20 years of failure. This is the PLP’s legacy – how they destroyed a country in a generation. That should be the focus of your outrage.

  2. Rocky5 says:

    MP Famous and all the PLP are all living in the past and would much rather see Bermuda become an third world economic desert than allow any foreigners in here.

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