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'We have to speak, show & act love'- Hon Wheatley

- said residency & belonger regularisation programme will not result in population increase
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), right, in a lively discussion with Acting Chief Immigration Officer Mr Ian B. Penn on May 7, 2019. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced on May 7, 2019 that the regularisation ‘fast track’ programme will begin on May 13 and end on May 31, 2019. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced on May 7, 2019 that the regularisation ‘fast track’ programme will begin on May 13 and end on May 31, 2019. Photo: VINO
WICKHAM’S CAY II, Tortola, VI- “We are really trying to help persons who have lived among us. They have been here for some 30, some 40 years but absolutely no status. There are kids who have been born here, lived all their lives in the BVI, know no place else besides the BVI. We want to make sure that these persons feel at home. They are our wives, our cousins and so forth…We want to spread the love. We must not only speak love, we must also show and act love.”

This is according to Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), who said he was pleased to support Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) on the regularisation ‘fast track’ programme, which begins on May 13 and ends on May 31, 2019.

Honourable Wheatley, speaking at a press conference at the BVI Arbitration Centre at Wickham’s Cay II, Tortola, on May 7, 2019 said the issue of immigration is as old as man himself and from the beginning of time man has been moving from place to place to live, work and other reasons.

He added that the process decided on by the Government of the Virgin Islands is not a light undertaking and mistakes may be made but asked for patience with the process and the outcome.

Unfair

Stressing that it’s unfair to have persons living in a country for many years without any status, Hon Wheatley said, Government at some point needed to "take the bull by the horn" and address the issue.

He noted, however, that the 2-week fast track initiative is the first part of a lengthy regularisation process.

“It’s going to go on for a while because in 2004 this same thing was done… and we are right back here 15 years later with the very same problem.”

“I know the last time we tried fixing it there was a huge community blow back against it. But we are going to try our best. It’s a huge programme.”

No population increase concerns

The Minister responsible for Immigration also disclosed that many locals have been calling him expressing concerns that there wasn’t much information about the programme and its objectives.

He continued that said there will be lots of community meetings and education programmes on the matter going forward. “Some of you might not like the decisions that are going to be made but no one likes everything you do anyway. They are tough decisions; we are going to try to make the best decisions we can make to ensure everyone is happy as possible.”

Another concern was there would be a marginal increase in the Territory’s population.

“The quick answer is no. Most of the folks who are going to be regularised, they are here already, it is not anyone that we are bringing in. The people have been living here. They are born here, they are your husbands, your wives, your cousins, your friends.”

Hon Wheatley explained that one of the objectives of the initiative is to grow an exclusive community that would further the development of the Virgin Islands.

“We can’t expect to exclude persons and expect to grow our community…By regularising persons we are hoping they are going to have a more vested interest in the development of the Territory.”

9 Responses to “'We have to speak, show & act love'- Hon Wheatley”

  • Nice (08/05/2019, 10:01) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    This is a government that is true to their words. I respect that greatly
  • Pissed (08/05/2019, 10:02) Like (15) Dislike (14) Reply
    The population will increase cuz every body and deh gramma will come live
    • agreed (08/05/2019, 11:11) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
      This is crap
    • faith (08/05/2019, 12:04) Like (14) Dislike (7) Reply
      Are they and their gramma coming to live in your house and eat your food? I didn't think so; therefore mind your own business and stay out of other people's affairs.
      • Tumbler (10/05/2019, 01:12) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
        You are assuming everyone and their Gramma would want to live here. Why would that be? There’s an awful lot of nicer places to live and easier too for man, woman, child, dog, cat, gramma and all which welcome them all with arms open struups.
    • @pissed (08/05/2019, 21:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is why it would be extremely irresponsible to not follow up with immigration reform by rotating laborers.
    • @ "pissed" (09/05/2019, 14:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I don't think so, because the bottom line us you have to have resided here for 15 years already (or have been born here). So I don't think that includes "everybody and their Gramma"...
  • foxy (08/05/2019, 12:16) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    VIP jamming do not get distracted by Mark and his 3 NDP bloggers with funny man being 2
  • Hmmmm (08/05/2019, 14:22) Like (10) Dislike (4) Reply
    The biggest impact will be in the labor industry. B.V.Islanders should have first preference with relations to jobs. With everyone now being belongers or residence how does that fit into the scheme of things. If the B.VIslanders think that jobs are hard to find now it just got harder.


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