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‘There is no clear understanding’ - Mitch on ‘Fast Track’ initiative

- Admits that VI opposition is weak and lacks assertiveness on issue
Former National Democratic Party (NDP) backbencher, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) aka ‘Mitch’, who is the lone winner in the Ronnie W. Skelton led Progressives Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) party during the 2019 election season, is adding his voice to the conversation surrounding immigration reform in the Virgin Islands (VI). Photo: VINO/File
With the now postponed “Clear path to regularization: Residency and Belonger Status Programme’ initiated by the Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) led Virgin Islands Party (VI) administration still a burning and controversial topic in the territory, Hon Turnbull is urging the Premier to come forth to the Opposition and explain exactly what his plans are regarding immigration reform. Photo: VINO/File
With the now postponed “Clear path to regularization: Residency and Belonger Status Programme’ initiated by the Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) led Virgin Islands Party (VI) administration still a burning and controversial topic in the territory, Hon Turnbull is urging the Premier to come forth to the Opposition and explain exactly what his plans are regarding immigration reform. Photo: VINO/File
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI – Former National Democratic Party (NDP) backbencher, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) aka ‘Mitch’, who is the lone winner in the Ronnie W. Skelton led Progressives Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) party during the 2019 election season, is adding his voice to the conversation surrounding immigration reform in the Virgin Islands (VI).

With the now postponed “Clear path to regularization: Residency and Belonger Status Programme’ initiated by the Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) led Virgin Islands Party (VI) administration still a burning and controversial topic in the territory, Hon Turnbull is urging the Premier to come forth to the Opposition and explain exactly what his plans are regarding immigration.

Opposition at a loss – Hon Turnbull

“I remember the first Saturday meeting we had, after getting the order paper and hearing the outcry and hearing the concerns, even with the Members and Ministers of Government that were there and even to this day, there is not a clear understanding of what is happening,” Mr Turnbull said at a third district meeting in Sea Cows Bay on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

The district two representative further revealed that he, like the rest of the opposition are at loss as to what the ultimate outcome is, even as Premier Fahie has repeatedly stated one of the main reasons for seeking to address the issue of regularisation is to unite the Virgin Islands to face the challenges that may lie ahead.

“The [Government] meetings that I could have tuned into, I think there were three meetings, you still have not heard a response from the elected government, they are fielding information to come back at an angle,” he said while alleging that VIP government is playing political games. 

Further, he revealed that the plan was that the current Town Hall meetings being executed by the government, should not have happened so soon, rather after the amendments to the immigration act. 

“If I may say this, on that Saturday meeting that was had, the meeting with the community wasn’t supposed to be until after the decision was made,” he said in reference to the ‘Immigration and Passport (Amendment) Act' on the HoA order paper. 

Political Games

While admitting that the opposition have not been proactive, he said, “The game that is being played right now, is a game that… Yes, you are in fact true that we as an opposition should be more assertive and forthcoming but it’s also a game that is being played that we are not holding the government… accountable.”

In ‘deleting’ the amendments to the Immigration Act and subsequent indefinite postponement of the ‘Fast Track’ initiative, Premier Fahie has indicated that his Government will respect the voices of the people to find common ground on the issue.

According to Hon Turnbull, “In terms of where we are going to go from here, I need to hear from the Leader of the Government Business or whoever is moving this bill… what is the plan!”

17 Responses to “‘There is no clear understanding’ - Mitch on ‘Fast Track’ initiative”

  • Hmmm (26/05/2019, 15:39) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everyone is Jumping on the crucification Van...These situations let you know who your friends are... To me I think cleaning up the department first.. The amount of people get victimized and applications disappearing.. Hmmm.. Then clear up the back log...Then focus on health workers and educators.. Create an orderly process... Using workers or years category...As it is now the process has no order...
  • Xxx (26/05/2019, 16:02) Like (16) Dislike (11) Reply
    Fraser needs to be the opposition leader
  • Sleeping with the enemy (26/05/2019, 16:09) Like (14) Dislike (12) Reply
    All of a sudden the real slave drivers are raising their voices and we are supposed to listen and do what we need to , because the real question should be instead of why now it should have been why not then when these people made the number of years they needed to receive their status every office of government that receive the monies from these people knows how long they were paying or should have known and should have done the next best thing and notify them , but it seems as though the people of this country wants aves and would do whatever they need to do to have slaves as long as they can feel superior to down island people like the one who owns the bakery his wife is from down island and you hear the way he was going on at the college you would have thought his wife was from here but we must not forget these people does not only work here ,they teach our kids ,they takes care of out sick they rent out apartments they manages our businesses they clean our homes and offices they lay in the bed next to some of us they give blood and some are organ donors they use to be our friends and good neighbors before we declare war against them they use to share our pains and support us in our time of needs and yet we wage war on them .
    • Rabsatt/Lettsome/Smith/Leonard (26/05/2019, 19:34) Like (10) Dislike (14) Reply
      These are hot topics all over the caribbean ..where locals are vocal on such topics dont pretend. (Check St.Kitts/Nevis News)Mr.Davies is not wrong in what he said ..but how it was said ..it seems a bit harsh for many.The BVI is a very small territory compare to many ..we have to do whats best for the territory. In my opinion only 20 eligible applicants needs to be processed once a year. Furthermore as a local of this territory many persons of other caribbean countries approached me regularly, who does not agree with it either..I guess they fear competition...just my assumption.
    • @Sleeping With the Enemy (26/05/2019, 21:26) Like (13) Dislike (5) Reply
      @Sleeping with the enemy, here is a news flash. Residency is a privilege, not a right. Many of the people raising a storm in a teacup about having to wait for residency in their home countries there is friction with foreigners. Their compadres are raising cane about migrants from the big islands flooding their countries and wanting to take over. It is common knowledge so I will not call names or give initials but they are our neighbors. However, if a Virgin Islander open his/her mouth about what is happening in the territory, he/she is castigated as bring worse that Lucifer. They are the enemy.
    • great (26/05/2019, 21:50) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Just adding to your facts .. sitting in church with the enemy also .
    • oh (27/05/2019, 10:14) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      They do not do it for free. We are grateful for the contributions they make, of course remembering that they are paid for the jobs they perform.

      People are making a big fuss and carrying on, but every country (except the BVI) look out for their people. Anyone see that video circulating where the T'dad leader is speaking about the Venezuelan immigrants and how they must protect the rights of the people of the T&T Republic? Our politicians need to wake up in real time.
  • wize up (26/05/2019, 16:26) Like (26) Dislike (3) Reply
    Only when some politicians are sitting on the Opposition side of an administration they expect the ruling administration to share all the information with them: the member for the #2 should be reminded his group did stuff under the table: fahie & fraser had no clue(can the mr pvim recall 8 mil sewage or the 7.2 mil)
  • Quiet Rebel (26/05/2019, 16:55) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    How is it possible that a major immigration and passport reform bill made it onto the Order Paper for a lightning speed rushed 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading yet duly elected members of the HOA seem to be in the dark and clueless on the aim, purpose, urgency, outcome........etc? Stunned, flabbergasted.......etc. What an inauspicious start! It is analogous to a raging bull in a China shop. Never seen anything like it in these parts. Is this in the league with the BVI Airways $7.2M giveaways? The Opposition is non-assertive for good reason, for the government is talking/acting for them. With each passing day, the government is squandering valuable political capital. Squandered political capital is hard to recover; the silver lining is that the Government got at least 3.75 years remaining on its term. How much lost political capital can be recovered is anyone’s guess. The sad thing is it was an unforced error. One should not try to be too cute in politics, for it often backfires. Here is a news flash for the Premier, a supposed smart, intelligent, loquacious and glib fellow with service time in both government and in opposition. In making decisions, there are opportunity cost,
    and unintended consequences so one should dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Further, one should apply the carpenter’s rule, ie, measure twice and cut once. Hon Premier, call a caucus meeting to plot/plan the way forward. Be mindful that some may tell you what you want to hear but not what you need to hear. Plan, plan, strategic plan, SWOT, situational analysis, replant..........etc.
  • Anonymous (26/05/2019, 18:37) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    With 2 ndp on the opposition it means they are tinted Mitch and Fraser run for your life
  • hello (26/05/2019, 19:34) Like (11) Dislike (12) Reply
    People need to stop supporting these folks who against the fast track program. Boycott lawyer and pastor and whoever possibly.
    • try it (29/05/2019, 17:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Boycotts work both ways, you AH; no jobs, no work permits and deportation at the first opportunity. We are sick of trash who cannot even function in their own home countries coming here and making demands. The reason you didn't get a job in your country is because you had no skills anyone needed. No one built houses in your country, you lived in galvanized tin huts on four sticks.
  • Truth (26/05/2019, 20:09) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I mean why not deal with the backlog first ? The other thing is me personally I will never apply for Nothing !!! in this vi again I said nothing they throw all your hard accumulated documents in the trash the funny thing is before you start doing anything you should clean up these departments cause it have a lot of them so bad minded they don't want you to get through I had an experience with just calling to check on updates on my status this lady was so upset that I called just to here about my file she call me a island man told me to get out her country and she's gonna make sure I never get thru with my application and this is at the office wow ... There is no trust for me to apply for nothing again here this foolish lady bashin me on the phone jus for my updates no wonder nothing gets done. I was born in the virgin islands but you see how y'all treat ppl is a disgrace but hear this about this fast track bull the vex when they have no available resources for born virgin islands no land nothing but you have it for these white racists you can't give children born here no rights an no passport but you can give the billionaires or birthright sell outs.
  • Fototio (26/05/2019, 21:09) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    Ye Hello is right , we need to start boycotting them for real. Especially churches who against the Premier fast track program, Move out of their houses , quit there jobs , , them get enough of our labor already. Davies is a bad paymaster who use the Island man in his Construction Company and don’t pay SS for them and when they make noise he fire them. Wicked Demons. Just check he face.
    • on your mark (27/05/2019, 09:36) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
      Why don’t you start boycotting? Why you came to these islands? Was it out of love for the people and the country?! The answer is NONE! You can here for your own advancement whether economically or whatever. We did not send call you. So you leave as you wish. One less strain on our limited resources.
    • Sick And Tired (27/05/2019, 10:47) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
      Living in the BVI for those who come here and trying to take us over, is a privilege, not a right. Always remember that.

      All of the bad talking is not necessary. If you don't like it here, you have options, and it is your right to exercise them and seek greener pastures.
  • wize up (26/05/2019, 21:17) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    there is nothing unusual: for so many years law have been passed in the legislative council/house of assembly and the residents/citizens of this territory have no clue: I will continue to interject VI people are only significant to the politicians just before an election: the politician continues to enact legislation which will adversely effect the subject of this territory and continue doing so without our knowledge or input: during the campaign trail everything the politicians do is public knowledge the time, date and place for every political rally on facebook, pocketbook, online, offline, tv & radio: once elected somehow we who elected the politicians have to figure out what is going on our country; we are no longer invited to the public meets and this have been the practice for many many years


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