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‘Fast Track’ initiative wasn’t rushed – Hon Wheatley

- Says VI Immigration will always be a ‘Hot Topic’
With the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) ‘Fast track’ immigration initiative currently a hot topic amongst both locals and immigrants, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (AL) says immigration will continue to top the conversation agenda as long as the Territory remains a viable destination to live, work, travel and invest. Photo: Facebook
Premier Andrew A. Fahie via the Premier’s Special Projects Facebook on the evening of Thursday, May 23, 2019, announced a postponement of the project, “In respect to the people of the Virgin Islands and for the process of listening to their views and reshaping our agenda, the submission days for the ‘Clear path to regularization: Residency and Belonger Status Programme from May 27 to 31, 2019, has been postponed,” he said.
Premier Andrew A. Fahie via the Premier’s Special Projects Facebook on the evening of Thursday, May 23, 2019, announced a postponement of the project, “In respect to the people of the Virgin Islands and for the process of listening to their views and reshaping our agenda, the submission days for the ‘Clear path to regularization: Residency and Belonger Status Programme from May 27 to 31, 2019, has been postponed,” he said.
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI – With the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) ‘Fast track’ immigration initiative currently a hot topic amongst both locals and immigrants, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (AL) says immigration will continue to top the conversation agenda as long as the Territory remains a viable destination to live, work, travel and invest.

Hon Wheatley made the comments on the Tuesday, May 21, 2019, edition of 'Honestly Speaking' on ZBVI 780am when he told guest host Mitsy J. Ellis-Simpson, that while many may feel the VIP's ‘Fast Track’ immigration policy, seeking to regularise undocumented immigrants was rushed, the process actually started a long time ago.

BVI is attractive – Hon Wheatley

“The BVI is a very attractive place to live, it’s very attractive to work, it’s very attractive to visit, it’s very attractive to invest. If we’re going to sustain these four things into the future, we have to address your labour needs and you have to address your immigration issues,” the Minister said while speaking about plans to merge Immigration and Labour into one department.

Following public backlash after Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced the 'Clear path to regularization: Residency and Belonger Status Programme aka the ‘Fast Track’ initiative, with moves to amend aspects of the Immigration & Passport Act, the programme has since been postponed indefinitely, as the government seeks public opinion to chart a way forward.

However, according to Hon Wheatley, immigration remains an issue that must be dealt with.

“This process started a long time ago, I heard one gentleman said why is the Premier rushing to get this thing done now? Well it didn’t just start, it started a long time ago and at some point in time, you really have to take the bull by the horn, and I understand people’s concerns, they are genuine concerns particularly if you weren’t following the discussion all the time, it may seem like… it is a rush thing,” he said.

Immigration a Hot Topic

Further, the Minister said that according to a friend, “The only two places right now that don’t have immigration issues are Haiti and Venezuela,” he said in pointing out that immigration is a hot topic globally.

Hon Wheatley further implored, “You cannot ignore persons who want to come to your land, for whatever reason.”

In announcing the postponement of the project on Thursday, May 23, 2019, Premier Fahie via the Premier’s Special Projects Facebook page wrote, “In respect to the people of the Virgin Islands and for the process of listening to their views and reshaping our agenda, the submission days for the ‘Clear path to regularization: Residency and Belonger Status Programme from May 27 to 31, 2019, has been postponed.”

However, even as the programme has been shut down as the government consults with the people, Hon Fahie notes, “Applicants are advised to complete the preparation of all necessary documents to apply and await further instructions due to possible reshaping of the programme.” 

16 Responses to “‘Fast Track’ initiative wasn’t rushed – Hon Wheatley”

  • vex (25/05/2019, 18:40) Like (10) Dislike (8) Reply
    good job Vincent speak truth to power
  • Quiet Warrior (25/05/2019, 19:26) Like (17) Dislike (8) Reply
    Hogwash! Don’t insult the intelligence of the electorate. Stop pissing on us and telling us it is raining. If the Hon Wheatley can part his lip, with straight face and honestly say on the Honestly Speaking show that this regularization was not rushed, I’m flabbergasted and all I can say is wow. This is out of this world and seems like something of Animal Farm. Geez sum bred.
    • Local (26/05/2019, 19:48) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Hon Wheatley is correct..its been there all along..remember Doc Smith was trying to get this done before leaving office? ..with the Chinese "Tourism Citizenship" Many of those would've very well be investors... Just like those 80 persons on a list presently stated by Hon Fraser in his meeting.

      Hon Andrew Fahie was just using a different strategy.
      More of a cowboy style to me.
  • Sax... Need 2CU (25/05/2019, 20:28) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    We had fun and good times playing music. U were always part of we. U understood the struggle. Don't give up. Keep fighting for what you believe in .. I'm proud of you!
  • Well Well (25/05/2019, 20:39) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ok . so it`s not a rush, and this was in the works for a while now.
    So tell me . How long ago did this fast track started?
  • Challenger (25/05/2019, 20:52) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    what hon Wheatly is saying is that this residency and belongership has been going on a long time..it is not being rushed. it has been there and applicatios ignored...thats all.
    what the vip are doing is trying to bring it all up front and done. the previous administration have ignored these applications for the most past..which is how they jave been controlled.
  • smdh (25/05/2019, 21:10) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    Three readings in one sitting isn't rushed? Amnesty for all and sundry isn't rushed? Please.
    Lets just move on.
  • Disinterested (26/05/2019, 09:11) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    An empty suit chatting pure fart. Politicians think they can fool ah we all the the time with their flowery language. Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time or something like that. Stop insulting the people by trying to give them a 6 for a 9, telling them truth is not truth, telling them that they should not believe their lieing eyes, that up is down, black is white, the sun rises in the west........etc. Don’t you have no shame? Silence is golden. Why can’t the d..r leader and followers admit that they took the electorate for granted, over estimate where the power centre lies, a perhaps well-intended issue went awry off the rails and they will reboot. But no, they will try to force a square peg down in a round whole and try to square the circle. . What wasted political capital! The BVI has too many problems and can’t afford to lose capital of any sort. The Opposition is playing the hand dealt well, for when a political opponent is digging a big widening hole you don’t stop them but encourage them with silence. The silence from the Opposition is deafening. With the government performance, there is no need to speak out, for the government is shooting its foot clean off. Why not a sound from Sheep, Queen Shereen, Carvin and Sherie? Well, at least D-9 rep open he mouth and nonsensical tory jump out; boy Hubert you less sah. Does it feel like amateur hour? Well meh son look ting! Por favor tell us the truth.
  • fact (26/05/2019, 09:33) Like (12) Dislike (5) Reply
    jump high jump low VIP will be in officer for a long long long time
  • Challenger (26/05/2019, 10:55) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    *SMDh
    i agree that the amnesty was not planned and i do agree with the speed by which that was going to be processed would cause conserns of proper vetting process and i dont think that was thpught through at all and that is a real issue when you look at how many people are "returning" to the territory to apply,. but what hon Wheatley os saying ( i think) is that this is something that has been here for years and ignored. so the actual item of residency / belongership is not something this is just being implime ted and rushed through. they should have cleared the backlog with propper vetting and while.that was going on clear the way for a properly implime ted program going forward... make belongership a longer period between gaining residency and applying for belogership..make the belonger criteria more to do with community involvement...what have you done for the territory...etc etc.
    its a difficult.subject and one that we need to be very careful how it mives forward. i think now we have been heard..the VIP will listen and learn..i hope !
  • Expat family (26/05/2019, 11:54) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fallow your heart hon. Minister. 6 votes for sure in my home for vip next election ! Thank you hon premier.
  • Shadey (26/05/2019, 17:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Play time is over boys......and things don't seem to be going in your favour. Stop playing around with my children's future!
  • anegada (26/05/2019, 19:26) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thanks for keeping your people update Hon Wheatley we got you always
  • Truth (26/05/2019, 20:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    You from a country born in country and don't have no papers from your country of birth and y'all doin something fast track my $$$$

    This law seems like its only for blacks like its out a old colonial book when we wasn't free when we couldn't vote own nothing you want the ppl to stay who you say deem to belong whatever and you don't ever give them a chance but I have learn enough about this I don't force myself to be apart of something that reminds me that I don't belong !
  • Myo (27/05/2019, 00:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Any bill or amendment to a bill that is pushed for 1st, 2nd or 3rd reading in one sitting is a rush. Don't full yourselves into thinking different.


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