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If US sweeps VI of green card holders '90% will be gone'- Premier Fahie

- Said birthing outside of VI reducing 'indigenous' population
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) speaking at Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in Paraquita Bay on May 20, 2019. Photo: VINO
The Town Hall meeting was called by the Government of the Virgin Islands following much concerns being raised when Government announced its move to amend the Immigration and Passport Act and to grant residency and or belonger status’ to eligible persons. Photo: VINO
The Town Hall meeting was called by the Government of the Virgin Islands following much concerns being raised when Government announced its move to amend the Immigration and Passport Act and to grant residency and or belonger status’ to eligible persons. Photo: VINO
PARAQUITA BAY, Tortola, VI- Speaking at a consultation meeting on the ‘fast track’ Residency and Belonger Status Regularisation initiative to give status to eligible persons residing in the Virgin Islands (VI) for fifteen years and more, Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said the practice of Virgin Islanders birthing their children out of the territory is eating away at the "indigenous" population.

Premier Fahie was at the time responding to a number of questions submitted by concerned persons ahead of last night’s, May 20, 2019 town hall meeting where he disclosed his observation. The meeting was held before a full audience at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in Paraquita Bay. The meeting comprised of indigenous Virgin Islanders, belongers, residents and persons yet without status.

The meeting was called by the Hon Fahie-led Government following much concerns being raised when Government announced its move to amend the Immigration and Passport Act and to grant residency and or belonger status’ to eligible persons.

The Immigration and Passport (Amendment) Act was set for three readings on the Order Paper at the Third Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) of the Virgin Islands on May 17, 2019; however, the second and third readings were pulled as Government decided to listen to the will of people, which was to have more discussions on the matter.

Giving away the birth right?

One of the concerns of many persons opposing the programme was that it would “give away the birth rights” of indigenous Virgin Islanders.

Stating that his ultimate goal is one that is expected to be met with some level of resistance, Premier Fahie said, “I want to be honest with you. Is this really about giving away the birth rights? Let me say this here, for example, we choose to born our children in the US, while it might seem like I am getting on, I am an indigenous, if the US comes and make a sweep of the BVI of everyone with a green card, more than 90% will be gone. “

The Premier clarified that it is not that he does not believe in the rights of the indigenous, “But when we born our children in the US and they born theirs in the US we continue to make sure that we do not regularise ourselves because then we lose our birth right in the BVI. So, we are partially contributing to the decay of BVI Islanders remaining indigenous.”

He continued, “Yet persons of many nationalities are staying here and helping to populate the country and build it 25, 35, 40 years now. Some of the same people have children who grew up and born here. Some of us have other nationalities, what are we saying?”

Premier Fahie said there is much work for many indigenous Virgin Islanders to do because under the British Nationality Act the more persons continue to give birth to their children outside, the more Virgin islanders will lose their rights. 

"After the second generation is born in the US you lose your rights here. That’s not Andrew Fahie telling you, that is the law. So if we keep going and get children abroad and our children get children abroad and their children get children abroad we lose our own status here based on the law.”

He added that immigration reform will have to “make sure that we loop back in those two or three generations that we have lost.”

Looking out for best interest of now & future

Meanwhile, Premier Fahie stressed that the intention is to managing the process of regularisation carefully to achieve the main goal of uniting the Virgin Islands to face the challenges that may lie ahead.

“We are looking out for the best interest of now and in the future but I want to say to you that nothing is going to be given away here. Everything is going to be gained which is unity and a clear way forward on a topic that everyone has been avoiding for the last forty years, you could say, and it continues to fester.

“We either deal with this problem now on our own or somebody is going to deal with it for us very soon [and] in a manner that we all will regret, both the Caribbean and the indigenous Virgin Islander.”

Premier Fahie reminded that for the last six years he has being saying it is either the Virgin Islands police itself or someone will police it in a manner that all will regret.

He said there are now agencies that have more authority than the sitting Government itself, “Because we did not police ourselves and I cannot be leading you knowing what’s coming and stand here and please some to the detriment of all.”

Noting that the process of immigration reform must start now, Premier Fahie said, “Putting your head in the sand like an ostrich, whether indigenous or Caribbean, is to the detriment of all.”

The next Town Hall Meeting is slated for the Catholic Community Centre in Virgin Gorda from 6:00pm on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

34 Responses to “If US sweeps VI of green card holders '90% will be gone'- Premier Fahie”

  • Shotter (21/05/2019, 10:17) Like (41) Dislike (2) Reply
    Let thy people go. Virgin Islands inaction for over 20 years, Do right and good karma will follow. Economically the country will be better. Start the screening process now, even facebook post and anti-Virgin Islands hate messages. Now is the time to deal with this issue and cement a policy going forward.
  • whatever (21/05/2019, 10:22) Like (21) Dislike (59) Reply
    His rationale makes no sense. If the UK or whomever is coming, what can 5,000 more people do to aid? The UK has 65M people, if they coming, they coming. This amnesty is going to approve more of them than us any way, so what are you trying to accomplish?

    Stop trying to scare us into the unknown. If you know something say it!
    • voter (21/05/2019, 16:19) Like (12) Dislike (29) Reply
      Totally agree!! We voted for the Premier and now he is speaking to us in a condescending tone of voice. When he was in the opposition a totally different person.. This guy have a personality complex. God knows what he will dream up next.
  • red man (21/05/2019, 10:49) Like (24) Dislike (7) Reply
    While both side had some very valid point I must say the statement as it relates to indigenous virgin island born there children in the USA to clearly creating the same imbalance that mostly worrying about. Where as the eastern Caribbean persons love borning there kids here in the BVI. next that it’s very interesting to see most of who oppose to the regularizing of persons who live here for so many years help contribute to the matter. Because all a them look who they marry too ! we Island people
    • Correction... (21/05/2019, 16:17) Like (6) Dislike (14) Reply
      Caribbeans and others like birthing their children in UK territories and places that circulates US currency.
  • Equal Rights and Justice (21/05/2019, 11:15) Like (27) Dislike (5) Reply
    Population is good for economic growth and development
    • hah (21/05/2019, 11:30) Like (16) Dislike (12) Reply
      Correct but for a small territory it doesn't.
      • Mr ching (21/05/2019, 15:20) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
        Send all of us and how the house owners will pay their mortgage u really want the high coloring to put their hands on everything more people more money spending in the country why when no tourist in the country we say its slow time
  • GG (21/05/2019, 11:22) Like (18) Dislike (93) Reply
    This entire residency thing need to cancel. Bvi don’t own them expats a thing if them been waiting for 20 years another 2 wouldn’t hurt.
    • Expat (21/05/2019, 12:05) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
      Wow! The voice of Trumpistan speaks.
    • tretretrete (21/05/2019, 12:30) Like (41) Dislike (5) Reply
      Foolishness talk I hope the next time I bvi person go over sea to get an baby I hope the us immigrants don’t send her back, how many bvi person living in the us for years and I know most of them have green card and working, I never heard us say go back home, people living here for over 20 years still can’t get no status that’s not fair.
      • @hmmm (21/05/2019, 16:30) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
        BVI people have dual status because of our relationship with the UK, something that many Caribbean countries opted to revoke as they became independent nations. However, there are many persons who have gain status in the territory and have traveled to Puerto and the US to live and/or have children as well.
  • I love you.. (21/05/2019, 13:12) Like (41) Dislike (9) Reply
    Premier!! MY parents are not from here!! I am from here AND I VOTED!!! My da*n parents DESERVE RIGHTS after 30 plus years!!! My vote COUNTED. TOO DARN BAD MINDED. THEN GOING CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY. HMMM I COULD TELL YAH!!!! GOD REALLY SPEAKS LOVE INTO YALL LIVES!!!!
    • Huff (21/05/2019, 13:39) Like (28) Dislike (17) Reply
      If your parents have been here for 30 years, then there is no reason they should not have their papers by now. They should have applied for their status years ago. That’s their own fault.
      • I love you.. (21/05/2019, 14:45) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
        @Huff... I am sure a lot can relate to the workers at immigration with the excuse of "misplacing" applications. Another family member had this problem. And what can you really do? Just accept it huh?
      • block (22/05/2019, 16:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    • Not from Here (22/05/2019, 10:16) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
      So let me ask, what stopped your parents or anyone who's been here for 30 plus years from applying for status the old fashion way? why do they have to wait for it to be handed to them? I applied the and I got mine it took a while hut I was patient and it worked out. Nobody owes anyone status, just apply and be patient.
  • Voters (21/05/2019, 14:21) Like (17) Dislike (4) Reply
    Andrew we with you, not to worry
  • nonsense (21/05/2019, 14:44) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    Those who chose to work and live in the VI knew what the consequences were. I support fixing the issue of children who were born in the VI by expat that's IT!!!!
  • ALSO (21/05/2019, 14:44) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    There are a number of expects who go to Puerto Rico and St.Thomas to get their babies.
  • example (21/05/2019, 15:07) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Great example of BVIlanders. (I am one from EXPATS)... Type of people who don't want a piece of land/ or family house but at the same time do not want to sell it. So its just there sitting for decades rotting. All these locals running off, leaving their land, but as soon as expats finally getting a chance they suddenly want to fight for it. How funny and greedy. If it was EXPATS vs. BVILanders, Expats would win because they are majority. Terms and conditions are added to this chance, 15 years plus, and STILL yall have something to say??? OMG. No words mehson. Non at all.
  • Mr ching (21/05/2019, 15:23) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yeah I love you I agree with you my children born here to they don’t even have a passport
    • Please .. (22/05/2019, 18:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      " takes a bit of work,but they can have one from your home country. They have the mothers birthright
  • Please Premier (21/05/2019, 16:53) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    Why stop there...let’s sweep the entire Caribbean basin and see how many persons on each island is living in the US /UK as soon as they are given green cards etc. What you are doing is opening a wider door for other nations to enter through the BVI to reach these larger nations. How do you think this will go over with the UK Premier???
  • Check language, pls (21/05/2019, 17:28) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    Indigenous people = original's population inhabiting a land before the arrival of colonists, slaves and other non native immigrants.
    Websters: : "produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment; indigenous plants; the indigenous culture"
    Around here that's Ciboney or Taino. Down island it's Carib or Garifuna.
    Don't disrespect those people by simply removing them from our region's troubled story like they never existed!
    BVIslanders are BVIslanders. Most have a slave origin, which means their ancestors were native to Africa, not these islands.
    It's a small but important difference. It does not change your argument if you use a different word, but please don't use 'indigenous' to mean BVIslanders.
    Respect the peoples who were virtually wiped out by the Europeans, just as you demand respect for the people once enslaved by Europeans.
    • voter (21/05/2019, 21:14) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
      Are you one of those people sir? Then you have our apologies or else- shout up and go back where you came from!!
      • Check language pls (22/05/2019, 07:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Thank you, Madam.
        I from here, but it is good you are wiling to show some respect to our good friends who live among us and complain all the time about this insult.
  • Check History, pls. (21/05/2019, 21:16) Like (1) Dislike (9) Reply
    @ Check Language Pls...You are commenting with information that was gleaned from the enslavers of our people. Do you think for a moment that they would empower you with the truth? Black people ruled the world including Europe for millions of years before the white man came along. Were the so called Ciboney, Taino, Carib or Garifuna Caucasian or were they people of colour. My friend there have been countless civilizations that have existed on this planet over its billions of years of existence. Please study the so called Indians of North, Central and South America, you'll be amazed to find that they were largely of African origin. This might probably give you a headache but continue to do some research and you'll be amazed at the stuff that you will uncover.....we have been lied to BIG TIME.
    On a different level...I hope Andrew don't blow our visa free access to the US...the people will crucify him....slow your roll dude.
    • Na (22/05/2019, 07:26) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      Now this is the kind of answer that allows anyone to justify anything.
      We all came from Africa, true, but that does not mean that over millions of years we didn’t migrate all over the planet and our skin colors transform in Color while our cultures slowly adapted to our environments. Around here were those Ciboney or Taino.
      You can claim what you like about why Africans are superior to everyone else. The point is, in this context, please use the right language.
      ‘Indigenous’ is not a word that describes BVI slanders, that is all.
      • @Na (22/05/2019, 15:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Why is it always a question of whether a BVIslander is indigenous to the BVI? It is our privilege! We cannot go to Trinidad and say that we are indigenous to Trinidad, nor to Guyana and say that we are indigenous to Guyana; neither can we go to St. Kitts and say that we are indigenous to St. Kitts - you get the picture. Let us alone with our terminology that we are indigenous to the BVI. None of us is/was/will be trying to displace any of you from your local home Territory - you exactly know what I mean. Each of us is from somewhere, BVIslanlders are local and indigenous to the BVI, that is how it is. We welcome who come and live among us and we are now outnumbered - most of us don't complain about that. Just give us the respect that is due to us BVIslanders.
  • No problems (21/05/2019, 23:34) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are no flood gates. There is no displacement. There is only the just regularity if those who have committed their emotional and financial lives to this country. The same people who lived through a death defying pair of hurricanes with this country and worked night and day to get it back up and running. Any Christian or anyone else with any decency would be welcoming them hurriedly to at a minimum, permanent residency. But ignoring those people hoping for the PR or Belongership, it is massively beneficial to the country and also not having a policy (that should be ten years to permanent residency even if without voting rights) is going to harm the country’s prospects losing out of business and expertise to Singapore, Cayman, HK and others. That means losing opportunities for Belonger children to make a livelihood here, thereby condemning them to leave here for work or to limit their potential avenues
  • wize up (22/05/2019, 00:55) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    little BVI & the big United States Dollars; look confusion People leaving their big develop countries for little Road Town: very mysterious because the day the US dollar is taken away or the territory became independent all the confusion will stop....with the BVI Passport one can now easily slip into the USVI then disappear into mainland USA: look story because some live and work in the USA or the UK for over 20 years and not one word of demand to become citizens In those countries
  • Now take that to the bank (22/05/2019, 01:24) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    2023 we still voting for VIP and Fahie all the way

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