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Background to Immigration protests in Bermuda

Thomas Christopher Famous is a Bermuda based columnist who writes on political and social issues in Bermuda and the wider Caribbean. He has weekly columns in the following online publications; Bernews, Caribbean News Now, Today in Bermuda and The Royal Gazette. Photo: Provided
On Monday March 14, 2016 there was a major protests in Bermuda which saw 2,000 Bermudians form a human chain around the HOA (House of Assembly) in opposition to proposed OBA (One Bermuda Alliance) immigration legislation. Photo: Provided
On Monday March 14, 2016 there was a major protests in Bermuda which saw 2,000 Bermudians form a human chain around the HOA (House of Assembly) in opposition to proposed OBA (One Bermuda Alliance) immigration legislation. Photo: Provided
By Thomas C. Famous

Greetings VI, USVI and the wider Caribbean region. Recently we have had major protests in Bermuda which saw 2,000 Bermudians form a human chain around the HOA (House of Assembly) on Monday March 14, 2016 in opposition to proposed OBA (One Bermuda Alliance) immigration legislation.

In order to present the fullness of what lead to that historic event I wish to provide some historic back ground information.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the following text we will lay out a track record of the UBP/OBA actions regarding immigration in the island of Bermuda.

  • In the lead up to the 2007 election the UBP (United Bermuda Party) headed up by then Opposition leader Michael Dunkley pledged to grant status to all PRC (Permanent Residency certificates) holders. The UBP went on to lose that election.
  • In the lead up to the 2012 election during a radio interview on the Everest Dacosta show OBA deputy leader Michael Dunkley stated that the OBA would not be granting Bermudian status to PRC holders.
  •  In the lead up to the 2012 election the OBA stated that they would suspend Term Limits for two years and look to review the policy.
  • On Feb 2013 the OBA unilaterally abolished Term Limits without any form of public consultation. The OBA then went on to deny that they had any intentions of giving status to PRC holders.
  • On January 31, 2013, the OBA attempted to grant children of guest workers the ability to seek employment.

“These young people, like our young people, were too young to spend summers overseas on their own, and regarded themselves as too old for summer day camp. But they were old enough to find a summer job in Bermuda,” said Senator Michael M. Fahy

  • Also on January 31, 2013 Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy disbanded term limits opening the floodgates for expats to gain the right to long-term residency.

“The Ministry obtained some time ago legal advice that demonstrated unequivocally the law, as it currently exists, was sufficient to limit reasonable expectation of permanent residents.  Term limits are not required in any way to do that. Period,” said Senator Fahy

  • February 13, 2013 - Minister Fahy proposed to amend the Work Permit Policy to allow children of work permit holders who are under 19 years of age to work during the summer without the requirement for a work permit despite Bermuda youth reporting to have an unemployment rate of 39%.
  • February 19, 2013 - Minister Fahy forced to back down on this due to public outcry:

March 1, 2013 - “And If I have to make it easier for rich white people to own land in Bermuda that is fine,” said MP Everad Bob Richards.

  • December 4, 2013 - Job Makers’ Act Amendment passed to make it easier for persons to obtain PRC status.
  • January 14, 2014 - Minister Michael Fahy opened the public discussion of Commercial Immigration and selling immigration rights to the highest bidder.
  • March 22, 2014 – Amended the Companies Act to grant exempt companies the right to acquire residential land.  Currently, Bermuda has 4,900 acres of residential-zoned property of which 2,179 acres are owned by non-Bermudians.
  • July 23, 2014 - Minister Fahy announces that OBA will allow PRC to be granted status on the grounds that long-term residents have the right to seek citizenship.

You see Ladies and Gentlemen, there has been a clear and concise pattern of:-

  • attempts to lay the foundation for work permit holders to become long term residents and then subsequently PRC holders
  • attempts as far back as 2007 to give PRC holders status
  • attempts to give children of guest workers permission to work in Bermuda
  • a pathway for Non Bermudians to purchase increased amounts of property in Bermuda

In part two of our evidence you will see a continuing pattern of this behaviour by the OBA. You can then make a better judgement for yourselves.

8 Responses to “Background to Immigration protests in Bermuda”

  • POPE (16/04/2016, 18:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    good read
  • Shameful (16/04/2016, 20:07) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    This article is a shame...it's shows the closed mindedness of certain persons...only the Amerindians are indigenous to Bermuda and the Caribbean....everybody else came from expats. Do the maths...sit down, shut up and stop being xenophobic to your own Caribbean people!
  • jack (16/04/2016, 20:08) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    They need to grow some balls here in the bvi
  • paul (17/04/2016, 06:24) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    We here in the bvi heading there..the rich whites run things
  • onlien now (18/04/2016, 12:59) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    All needs OT need to start taking about independence
  • UK student (20/04/2016, 09:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good read Mr. Thomas very thought provoking


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