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Virgin Islander vs Citizenship

October 11th, 2018 | Tags:
Donald E. de Castro. Photo: VINO/File
By Donald E. de Castro

It is time that those politicians whose only interest is getting re-elected—and their supporters—to stop their rhetoric and be honest and straight forward to everyone.

1.            We are a Territory and not a Country

2.            We do not have a Constitution; we have a Constitutional Order

3.            We cannot grant or deny citizenship to anyone

 As a territory we have a certain amount of control over ourselves, however, the United Kingdom’s Parliament can make laws that we must follow.

Virgin Islander

The issue of who is a Virgin Islander and the status of one that is born in this Territory, needs to be intelligently discussed and settled.

However, this is being difficult to accomplish, as some politicians and other persons are making it a personal issue like they do with many other issues.

We quite often hear ads that refer to Virgin Islanders and “other” Belongers.

This tell us that all Virgin Islanders are Belongers. Ways that one can obtain Belongers status, is by descent or marriage.

You can also obtain ‘Belongers’ status if you had acquired Residency through immigration.

Once this is obtained you can later on apply for Belonger’s status. Once you have obtained Belonger’s status you can then apply for citizenship, if you so wish.

If you do apply for citizenship and that is granted by the Governor, not the Premier, you become a citizen not of the Virgin Islands but a British Overseas Territory Citizen (BOTC) with the right to live in the Virgin Islands.

You are then entitled to apply for a British Passport. After obtaining a British Passport you now have the privilege to apply for a UK Passport.

Once you obtain a UK Passport you have now become a country British Citizen. This makes one a citizen of two countries; their original Country and the UK, plus the British Overseas Territories.

Now you have three citizenships, however, nowhere in this process one became a Citizen of the Virgin Islands or a Virgin Islander.

Civil Registry

While trying to obtain information for this article at the Civil Registry and Passport Office it was shocking and disturbing to discover that there are employees in that office that do not know the difference between a “British Passport” and a “UK Passport”.

The issue of who is a Virgin Islander could and should be a simple one if politicians were more interested in the Territory and its people rather than being re-elected every election.

Citizenship is determined by the Constitution and/or the laws of its country and since we are not a Country, the UK Government determines our citizenship.

Now, the matter of who is a Virgin Islander is another issue which should be a simple one to resolve, so I will give you my personal opinion on this matter.

But before I do, a little history may help you to understand my reasoning.

During the Second World War, many people from the Virgin Islands travelled to various Caribbean islands to seek employment to assist their families here.

 Some of those islands were Hispaniola, Cuba, Aruba and Curaçao.

Some went to Antigua but the majority went to St Thomas.

We must understand that people of these islands were decedents of Africans and in many instances African decedents and their slave masters.

During the latter part of the war and after the war, people of the Leeward Islands, especially St Kitts/Nevis and Antigua came to the Virgin Islands for the same reason that Virgin Islanders travelled abroad.

Because of the above historical information, here is my suggestion as to what the definition of a Virgin Islander should be.

The war ended November 1947.

My definition would be a simple one; “Any one born in the Virgin Islands on or before December 31, 1947, and after that date, one of the parents and two of the four grand parents must be Virgin Islanders”.

 

REMEMBER THAT WE ARE NOT A “COUNTRY” SO WE CANNOT DETERMINE “CITIZENSHIP”.

Virgin Islander vs Citizenship

 

By Donald E. de Castro

 

 

It is time that those politicians whose only interest is getting re-elected—and their supporters—to stop their rhetoric and be honest and straight forward to everyone.

1.            We are a Territory and not a Country

2.            We do not have a Constitution; we have a Constitutional Order

3.            We cannot grant or deny citizenship to anyone

 

As a territory we have a certain amount of control over ourselves, however, the United Kingdom’s Parliament can make laws that we must follow.

Virgin Islander

The issue of who is a Virgin Islander and the status of one that is born in this Territory, needs to be intelligently discussed and settled.

However, this is being difficult to accomplish, as some politicians and other persons are making it a personal issue like they do with many other issues.

We quite often hear ads that refer to Virgin Islanders and “other” Belongers.

This tell us that all Virgin Islanders are Belongers. Ways that one can obtain Belongers status, is by descent or marriage.

You can also obtain ‘Belongers’ status if you had acquired Residency through immigration.

Once this is obtained you can later on apply for Belonger’s status. Once you have obtained Belonger’s status you can then apply for citizenship, if you so wish.

If you do apply for citizenship and that is granted by the Governor, not the Premier, you become a citizen not of the Virgin Islands but a British Overseas Territory Citizen (BOTC) with the right to live in the Virgin Islands.

You are then entitled to apply for a British Passport. After obtaining a British Passport you now have the privilege to apply for a UK Passport.

Once you obtain a UK Passport you have now become a country British Citizen. This makes one a citizen of two countries; their original Country and the UK, plus the British Overseas Territories.

Now you have three citizenships, however, nowhere in this process one became a Citizen of the Virgin Islands or a Virgin Islander.

Civil Registry

While trying to obtain information for this article at the Civil Registry and Passport Office it was shocking and disturbing to discover that there are employees in that office that do not know the difference between a “British Passport” and a “UK Passport”.

The issue of who is a Virgin Islander could and should be a simple one if politicians were more interested in the Territory and its people rather than being re-elected every election.

Citizenship is determined by the Constitution and/or the laws of its country and since we are not a Country, the UK Government determines our citizenship.

Now, the matter of who is a Virgin Islander is another issue which should be a simple one to resolve, so I will give you my personal opinion on this matter.

But before I do, a little history may help you to understand my reasoning.

During the Second World War, many people from the Virgin Islands travelled to various Caribbean islands to seek employment to assist their families here.

 Some of those islands were Hispaniola, Cuba, Aruba and Curaçao.

Some went to Antigua but the majority went to St Thomas.

We must understand that people of these islands were decedents of Africans and in many instances African decedents and their slave masters.

During the latter part of the war and after the war, people of the Leeward Islands, especially St Kitts/Nevis and Antigua came to the Virgin Islands for the same reason that Virgin Islanders travelled abroad.

Because of the above historical information, here is my suggestion as to what the definition of a Virgin Islander should be.

The war ended November 1947.

My definition would be a simple one; “Any one born in the Virgin Islands on or before December 31, 1947, and after that date, one of the parents and two of the four grand parents must be Virgin Islanders”.

REMEMBER THAT WE ARE NOT A “COUNTRY” SO WE CANNOT DETERMINE “CITIZENSHIP”.

 

8 Responses to “Virgin Islander vs Citizenship”

  • ReX FeRal (12/10/2018, 07:14) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    Straight talk Mr. Donald DeCastro. Well said. The haters will be coming at Ya but so be it.
  • Historian (12/10/2018, 11:37) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. De Castro are you a descendant of a Cuba or a Virgin Islander? Were you born before or after 1947? So if two of my grand parents were not born in the Virgin Islands before 1947, I am not a Virgin Islander? It also sounds like we may have a lot of Virgin Islanders living in Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, St.Kitts, Antigua and St.Thomas. Which means we are all Caribbean related.
    • @Historian (12/10/2018, 19:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      As Mr. de Castro said, many men from these Virgin Islands emigrated to Hispaniola to work. Some of them started families there, thus many of the "Spanish" who are now emigrating here are their descendants are entitled to belonger status.
      • Bravo West (13/10/2018, 04:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        There are not that many. Some have legitimate Belonger status and lot are not.
  • ??? (12/10/2018, 14:15) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Good Info.
  • Interesting (13/10/2018, 04:57) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    But more urgently we need a permanent residence status at 8-10 years in order to give those who have earned it more reason to further invest here. Only then can we compete and provide the stable and non-transient base in our economy to continue to develop and to pay off our loans. Our competitors are reaping the rewards while our politicians continue to play the Trump-like fear and xenophobia card to get people emotional and acquire their votes.
  • rude (19/10/2018, 14:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. De Castro needs to be schooled! He is sharing incorrect information and does not want to be corrected. I guess due to his know it all attitude! He can be a rude and ignorant man!
  • two cents (19/10/2018, 21:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    A native or inhabitant of an island is and islander, therefore a native or inhabitant of the Virgin Islands is a Virgin Islander.


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