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‘You have gotten my attention for amendments’- Premier Fahie

- tells group of concerned citizens opposing the ‘fast track’ regularisation programme
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) today, May 15, 2019 met with a group of persons concerned about the ‘fast track’ Residency and Belonger status regularisation programme. Photo: Facebook
Local Attorney Mr Jamal S. Smith said he couldn’t understand the ‘strange urgency’ by the Government of the Virgin Islands to give status to expats and also wanted to know whether the Attorney General, Mr Baba F. Aziz was involved as he wanted to know whether the ‘fast track initiative’ was breaching the constitution of the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook
Local Attorney Mr Jamal S. Smith said he couldn’t understand the ‘strange urgency’ by the Government of the Virgin Islands to give status to expats and also wanted to know whether the Attorney General, Mr Baba F. Aziz was involved as he wanted to know whether the ‘fast track initiative’ was breaching the constitution of the Virgin Islands. Photo: Facebook
Noreen Callwood-Lewis noted that status in the Virgin Islands was a privilege and not a right and Premier Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) should not be giving any unrealistic expectations to expats. Photo: Facebook
Noreen Callwood-Lewis noted that status in the Virgin Islands was a privilege and not a right and Premier Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) should not be giving any unrealistic expectations to expats. Photo: Facebook
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) today, May 15, 2019 assured persons concerned about the ‘fast track’ Residency and Belonger status regularisation programme that he would never do anything to destroy the Virgin Islands. His main intention, he said, is to unite the Territory. Photo: Facebook.
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) today, May 15, 2019 assured persons concerned about the ‘fast track’ Residency and Belonger status regularisation programme that he would never do anything to destroy the Virgin Islands. His main intention, he said, is to unite the Territory. Photo: Facebook.
WICKHAM'S CAY 1, Tortola, VI - As the fast track Residency and Belonger status regularisation programme continues to face opposition from some Virgin Islanders, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) today, May 15, 2019 met a group of such persons to hear their concerns with a view to responding and to ultimately acting on them as necessary.

The meeting took place at the Office of the Premier, Central Administration Complex on Wickham's Cay I, Tortola, and was streamed live on the Government of the Virgin Islands Facebook page. The moderator was Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline.

“Strange urgency”

Persons were of the view that Premier Fahie had betrayed them and wanted to know what was the “rush” with granting eligible persons Residency and Belonger Status.

According to Attorney Mr Jamal S. Smith, he couldn’t understand the “strange urgency” by the Premier and also wanted to know whether the Attorney General, Baba F. Aziz was involved, as he wanted to know whether the ‘fast track initiative’ was breaching the constitution of the Virgin Islands.

Mr Smith also wanted the Amendments to the Immigration and Passport Act on the Order Paper for the Friday, May 17, 2019, House of Assembly (HoA) be removed until more consultations were done.

A Noreen Callwood-Lewis noted that status in the Virgin Islands was a privilege and not a right and the Premier should not be giving any unrealistic expectations to expats. She noted that she doesn’t have anything against expats but her forefathers would not have agreed to the ‘fast track initiative’.

“No peas & rice, only rice & peas”

Claudia Hodge, who said her ex-husband is from St Kitts, said she lived in the United States of America for almost 20 years but she has never seen expats feel so entitled like in the Virgin Islands. She also said the culture of the VI would be altered further as these days she can’t find any “peas and rice” to buy but only “rice and peas.”

She too felt “betrayed” by the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government as she said she had supported the VIP during the recent elections campaign trail.

Other persons expressed the fear that the VI would be overtaken and locals placed at a disadvantage.

Another sentiment was that when the hurricanes of September 2017 devastated the Virgin Islands, expats returned home but locals stayed and rebuild the Territory.

“I just love my country more than you” - Elton Callwood

Local businessman Elton Callwood noted there were other graver issues that the Government needed to address, such as the relationship with the United Kingdom.

He also expressed concern that local businesses would be made to compete with non-locals and lamented that he had already been outpaced in a certain business by an expat.

Mr Callwood pointed out too that locals are already subjected to degrading comments and monikers from expats and there is need to protect the Virgin Islander.

“People say LT don’t love the expats, I just love my country more than you, that’s all, and I am a patriot to my bone, to my marrow,” Mr Callwood said.

Talk show hosts Edmund G. Maduro and Julian Gordon also expressed their disapproval with the regularisation programme.

“We must find common ground”- Premier Fahie

A composed Premier Fahie began his response by stating he would never do anything to destroy the [British] Virgin Islands.

“I would never do anything to destroy my people, but we must find common ground to unite our people to face what’s ahead. If we do not find common ground we all will regret that we did not sit and find common ground.”

Reiterating that he would never purposely seek to disenfranchise anyone, Premier Fahie said he has met with many other VIslanders, both who were in support and against the regularisation initiative, and he was happy to meet with the concerned persons.

The Premier noted that immigration matters anywhere around the world are not simple topics but he was not prepared to do nothing. “In America, they are trying to solve theirs with a wall. We trying to solve ours by finding common ground.”

According to Honourable Fahie, doing nothing is not an option he intends to exercise, “but doing what is best for the Virgin Islands based on all that I have heard for the last two weeks. I will sit, my colleagues will sit, we will pray and I will pray and search as much as I can God’s heart for the balance for those who qualify because I have never guaranteed anyone in any meeting that they will get anything.”

"I sense what's ahead"

The Premier also made it known that many expats stayed after the hurricanes and also helped to rebuild. “Our people, yes we stayed here after the hurricane but we cannot ignore who have lived with us for many years that stayed with us also and did not leave, and helped us to rebuild the Virgin Islands,” Premier Fahie said, noting that he was not talking about persons who have been in the Territory less than 15 years. “To do nothing would not be the will of God.”

“I sense what’s ahead. I read these reports and the headlines sound good but the devil is in the details. You have to read them back over and see. There are certain language you see in the reports talking about the word right out rejected but later on they said declined to state so and so this at time. You have to watch those words,” Premier Fahie said, seemingly referring from correspondence from the United Kingdom to the Overseas Territories.

“You have to decide who we want to move forward with because if you move forward without uniting, without giving away the BVI but without uniting the BVI in a few years will not be how we feel we can hold it to if we don’t do something.”

Amendments will be brought to the HoA

Premier Fahie clarified that the Attorney General has advised his team “every step of the way” but noted that revised amendments to the Immigration and Passport Act will be brought to the House for debate on Friday. The amendments are necessary for the ‘fast track initiative’ to proceed.

“I know that persons have asked to cut out the first, second and third readings. It is not an illegal part of the House. But what I can say there is no doubt in my mind that there will be amendments due to persons’ strong views.”

“I must say we will review based on a lot of recommendations coming from you the public on how we want to deal with the matter. I agree that nothing is guaranteed to anyone who moves in a country. I want to say the Amendments will be something that will come forward and based on what we have discussed today, and among the other forums in the last two weeks. The amendments will further recognise how to handle the matter, what is it we need to adjust, what to eliminate and what we also need to do for the future.”

Premier Fahie said he apologised if persons felt his methodology was wrong but declared he had no apologies for what’s in his heart.

“I will end by saying you have gotten my attention for some amendments but I cannot leave from here saying on Friday I wouldn’t be putting forward the debate but I will leave from here by saying you have gotten my attention for some amendments that I feel is in the best interest of the BVI,” Premier Fahie concluded.

Meanwhile, the Premier also promised to respond to the other questions and comments of the 'group of concerned citizens' in writing by Thursday afternoon, May 16, 2019. 

40 Responses to “‘You have gotten my attention for amendments’- Premier Fahie”

  • Outspoken (15/05/2019, 23:14) Like (127) Dislike (25) Reply
    Ms. Claudia Hodge when you was living in the US for 20 years, it was the same expatriates who came here and built your beloved Virgin Islands do that you can come back home and enjoy the sweetness of their Labour. What an ungrateful set of people you all are. “When the hurricane destroyed the territory in 2017, expats returned home while local stayed and rebuild the country”. REALLY? Oh my my, hmmmmm. So many locals were rushing to the US so that they US Authorities had to turn back boat loads from STT. Some who went have not returned up to now. What a set of people, my God.
    • @outspoken (16/05/2019, 00:26) Like (25) Dislike (55) Reply

      They have a right to voice their views on such a weighty matter. If expats are to be rewarded with status, take time to do so effectively, not in the manner it is currently being done. You expats have your hidden agendas too ... get BVI status then move to next level. Some of you will be off to UK next ...
      • smdh (16/05/2019, 11:05) Like (32) Dislike (2) Reply
        If someone really wanted to get to the UK, there are many easier ways to do it than moving to the BVI for 15 or more years and HOPING to somehow get status here and then HOPING to get a British passport.
      • faith (16/05/2019, 11:15) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
        So, as you yourself stated that "they will be off to UK next..." then there is no issue of letting them have this status because they would be gone according to your statement.
    • @outspoken (16/05/2019, 17:26) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      Please...Expatriates did not come to the BVI with the intent to build the country, but to better their lives with the US dollar, same objective as Hodge. Many persons left the territory after the storms of 2017 'expats and locals alike'.
  • reason (15/05/2019, 23:23) Like (20) Dislike (9) Reply
    Dear Honorable Fahie,

    There is absolutely no doubt you are acting with your heart. There has been an issue for decades with the processing of deserving people for an upgrade with their status. What makes no sense is for this hasty two week period to crazily try to solve the matter. Please remember what happened to another Honorable member on a much smaller issue to do with traffic lights at the roundabout.

    Please weigh up this matter very carefully to keep our respect.
  • Mr. Hodge (16/05/2019, 00:06) Like (25) Dislike (21) Reply
    There are always multiple sides and viewpoints to topics like this and it is no different from the issues the US has with neighboring Mexico or European countries that are having issues with refugees. My question is this, ‘If’ persons have been in the territory for such a long period of time and they consider the BVI their home why wasn’t it their own initiative that caused them to want be a permanent part of the BVI by either residency, belonger status or naturalization? Before this fast track initiative was introduced did they have any intention of galvanizing their status? The BVI can accommodate only so much growth. The island isn’t getting any bigger but our population certainly is. How will this affect our immigration when expats now have “status” and families from overseas join them? This is not the US or UK where one can move to another state or city. This type of initiative requires careful consideration
    • Jaigon (16/05/2019, 06:08) Like (49) Dislike (2) Reply
      @Mr. Hodge, it seems like you were not following this whole issue. But it have persons who applied for years now, but their application been hidden some place. The people were living here for all these years, they abide by every rules and regulations, they are already here, it’s not like new people coming in, so all it is the Premier is doing is give them that piece of document they deserve. What is the issue with you people. The people are not refugees, they are not running in here to seek no asylum. They are you own Caribbean brothers and sisters, why are you guys so negative against them, they have been living among you guys for all these years, building your country, doing the works that local don’t want to do, why you guys behaving like this. Just take a prime example when you guys have the Caribbean night in the festival village, these people are part of you guys
      • Mr. Hodge (16/05/2019, 13:57) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
        @Jaigon. Firstly I have no issue whatsoever with my Caribbean brothers and sisters who are productive, law abiding individuals who have decided to make the BVI their home. The people who have been here for YEARS should have status and it is unfortunate that some have been tangled in red tape and I frown upon upon that. However I am not without reservation for those who are opportunists. People have a right to defend their own country and when the people of a land are patriotic it doesn’t mean that they don’t care for or value others. If roles were reversed I would expect nothing less
  • Expat Express (16/05/2019, 00:24) Like (27) Dislike (1) Reply
    Frankly, it's understandable that this "fast track" residency to Belonger initiative would be of concern too BVIslanders. Talk and full transparency, before taking action, seems more than reasonable. It seems imperative. It certainly seems like it took the expat community by surprise (as much as Local locals). Everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off, stressing about getting all the necessary documents together in the 2 week "grace period"!
    GRACE. Now that is something we all (BVIlanders, Belongers and non-belongers alike) are in need of!

  • Quite interesting (16/05/2019, 04:45) Like (64) Dislike (5) Reply
    Everyone of those that you see around that table and asking those questions are US citizens or have a green card just like my self and it was ok for them to have what they have and not one of them has done as much for America as these people has done for this country they call home and most of them had their kids born in America but it’s ok and the same expats that has kept the lights burning had their kids born here and cannot get. BVI passport but the same born here like my self don’t think anything is wrong with that but when Donald trump apply pressure on them it’s a problem ,how much of them went and and volunteer their time to help to rebuild their beloved BVI ,not one of them they ran to America they ran to U.K. they ran and ran to where they could not go ,but it’s like anything else you blame those who are less fortunate than your self for whatever is wrong with your life as if Irma didn’t teach you people a lesson hope when you finally learn it would not be folate what ungrateful people when your doing whatever they want it’s ok but the minute that something good is on the horizon where you can benefit from it it’s the worse thing ever .wow
    • Enemies R Real (16/05/2019, 08:17) Like (37) Dislike (2) Reply
      This is part of the challenges of being a leader... However, been a good leader is understanding these kind of opposition will rise up with different I'll will and motives.. Stand still and do the will of the almighty from whom your health strength, Wisdom, Protection and prosperity come from. .. You are doing the right thing Mr Premier.. No matter what you do there will always be opposition. If you have to change your mind every time opposition rise up.. U done fail.
  • long look me come from (16/05/2019, 07:03) Like (20) Dislike (6) Reply
    Democratic process at work. Thank god for the vip we can now speak
    • I Don’t Need To Say I’m Born Here (16/05/2019, 07:18) Like (18) Dislike (21) Reply
      The Premier had better listen to the Virgin Islander. He mis stepped, a proper consultation with the people who elected the VIP was needed first in this weighty matter. I have nothing against others coming here and living we must coexist and not have any division amongst us. These islands must be protected for its people. Residency/Belongership
      • Neither do I (16/05/2019, 13:45) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        Simply, I do not recall any serious consideration nor uproar when a prominent Minister in the last NDP Government got up in the HOA and proclaimed that that government could not promise/guarantee any protection to/for BVIslanders. That was a blanket statement, which spoke volumes. The Premier is right to make decisions on behalf of the majority of the people of the BVI as that is what he was elected to do in this democracy. If matters were dealt with on behalf of the people all along, there would not have been this overwhelming build-up of eligible applications to be dealt with. Now, is when we need to move on with service for the people! Thumbs-up, Premier!
  • Understand (16/05/2019, 07:36) Like (51) Dislike (30) Reply
    I am living in the territory 21 years and I do agree with the locals. This is a shock to everyone . I do not have any status but I still don’t like this fast tract thing, having people running around like mad ants. I think the premier should think about this and take his time to climb the ladder. Expats, how would you feel if this was happening in your country? The locals weren’t even given a chance to enjoy their new premier. I am still paying permit and I’m not jealous of who is getting fast tract status it’s just my honest opinion. Give it to the backlog applicants who are here for 40 and 30 years and then take your time and come down the ladder
    • fine (19/05/2019, 11:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It happens after 5 years residency in most countries. Used to be 7 here.
  • Now we know our friends (16/05/2019, 08:10) Like (72) Dislike (8) Reply
    I'm an Xpat living here for 34yrs. Never been out of work one day.. Never been to court dont have as much as a traffic violation against my name, I got residents status when i make my 31st year I'm still waiting on my belonger status. The System is unfair, Bias and corrupt.. I know that.. I'm happy the Premier has the courage to take the bull by the horn and lead ..
    • Nicky (16/05/2019, 09:40) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      I feel your pain, in have been living here for 32 years, got my residence 31 years ago, I’m naturalized, I have a Virgin Islands Passport, never been in the court, clean records, never been out the BVI for no more that 2 weeks, never been out of work, same job for 20 odd years, so basically what these good folks who I know some verywell is saying I show not be granted belonged status,

      Cool I get it,
  • Virgin Islander (16/05/2019, 08:37) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am a born Virgin Islander. No one is perfect in their actions nor their words. While I think our Honourable Premier is doing what he feels within his heart is right, and while other Virgin Islanders are speaking out for what they think is right, I do believe that no one is being wicked or being against Expatriates but more so in the manner in which it is being executed. Not everyone is being vocal publicly, but indeed there are a lot of disgruntled residents. Not about what is being done, but how it is being done. With every action, there is a reaction. This is just my opinion. I think the Government should have done a better job in thinking the whole thing through first, then come with a plan of action. While we want to see this administration do well for the benefit of all, They seem to be biting too fast more than they can chew. Firstly, Make the ammendments. Secondly, change the time frame to fifteen years to be illegible. Thirdly, along with your Immigration board, look at the applications that are already in there and take care of those. Fourthly, Allow who wants to apply treat them in an expeditious manner. This Amnesty thing is a NO No. Do you realize how many people are being affected by it? People wanting to take advantage of this amnesty in such a short time are scrambling to Virgin Islanders seeking Reference letters ASAP, Seeking job letters ASAP, asking the regular questions that needs to be answered by Immigration or someone in authority. Just to name a few. Is there currently an Immigration board? or will the Premier and Minister responsible for Immigration make these decisions on their own? What is the rush? Will people who don't qualify ask to leave the Virgin Islands after this amnesty? Here again a new administration is putting the cart before the horse. People need to stop, think and listen before causing unnecessary discord between Virgin Islanders and Expatriates. Not everyone can or will sit and analyze things sensibly. Talk about unity and then do things to bring division. VIP Government talk about doing things unconventional. Please use your intellect and think before you act. Like I've said before, every action causes a reaction. Think proactively... People of the Virgin Islands, let there be peace for the sake of protecting and sustaining our people and our lands. No pun intended.
  • True (16/05/2019, 09:16) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
    will they have to take a test to show how much they know about the Virgin Islands or does the fast track cash get rid of that part. To become a Belonger you should not have property in your home country, most do and send the money home this should disqualify people as the BVI is not where they want to be but Have to be.

    I don't belong can apply but won't as I already hold a UK passport, which is what most are chasing......
  • (16/05/2019, 10:09) Like (18) Dislike (5) Reply
    The persons we put in power in government were chosen to represent the people, not to rule the people. The promised transparency and accountability are not visible. This is frightening.

    The locals need to be heard on this hiphosit decision that stands to negatively impact generations of our people yet unborn.

    Why the big rush? Things that are done in haste are never done correctly.

    According to the song that was often heard on the airwaves during the recently concluded USVI political campaign, 'yuh know wah you goh, but yuh ane know wah yuh goin' geh.'
  • legal team (16/05/2019, 10:15) Like (14) Dislike (11) Reply
    What did Noreen Callwood-Lewis say?
    She said, "Status in the V.I was a privilege and not a right.
    Did Mrs Lewis read the law and the Constitution?
    Section 16 of the Immigration and Passport Ordinance [a BVI Law made by parliament] makes provisions for expatriates who resided in the BVI for whatever length of time or are married to Virgin Islanders,or who are qualified under whatever circumstances to apply, if qualified, for belongers status in the V.I.
    Therefore, it is written in law to become a belonger, so if it written in law, it is a awful-RIGHT to become a belonger.

    Section 2[2] of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 [The supreme law of the land] defines who belongs to the Virgin Islands.
    In 2006-2007, The NDP Government included a "clause" to Buckingham Palace, which Her Majesty approved in the new Constitution, at the Court at Buckingham Palace on 13th June,2007, in the presence of the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council, to allow persons born outside the BVI, whose "GREAT-GREAT,grand-PARENTS" were BVIslanders.But in a law and policy,the NDP increased the years of qualification for expats residing in BVI.Why?
    So,it is a Constitutional Right,for persons born outside the BVI whose G-G-G-Parents were BVIslanders, but expatriates residing in BVI for 15 years and more,does not have the RIGHT under section 16 of the IPO to become belongers? The VIP is on the right track to be fair to the people who reside in the BVI,
    To the LAWYER:
    It is lawful,for the Minister[with approval of cabinet] to apply to His Excellency the Governor to impose belonger status on any person whom the minister determines to be fit,proper and qualified for beloner status in the V.I.
    The law, nor the Constitution made provisions for the minister to consult with the public before granting belongers status.Take it to parliament for debate..
    Honourable Andrew Fahie is an Honourable human being.God save the BVI and the VIP.

  • Curious George (16/05/2019, 10:38) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Nationalism is always appropriate (i.e. BVI First, not BVI Only, but definitely BVI First). The problem in my opinion with the current discussions regarding status is the relative exclusion of any conversations regarding current citizenry. Call me naive but I still think the government is supposed to actually represent the citizens. As in the current citizens not perspective future citizens. Who vex about that I sorry but at the end of the day status is a right we give our children and privilege we might extend to our friends.
  • Inhumane (16/05/2019, 11:32) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    I know many people died while waiting
  • Binocs (16/05/2019, 12:18) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    Sadden by the things that was said last night at this press conference. Cannot believe the things that came out the mouths of the persons who came to discuss at this table.

    I was extremely taken aback at how they went on about people from the eastern Caribbean! The islands that are closest to you to lend a helping hand in your time of need!!! BVI is part of the Caribbean why are we tearing down and treating our fellow Caribbean brothers and sister in this manner?

    Nothing was said of the huge number of philipinos, Americans, brits who are here, and those are the people the planes were sent to evacuate from her after Irma.

    Caribbean people, black people we have to unite. Premiere Fahie was right when he said this. Are we not seeing what Is happening on a daily basis in the US UK EU?

    The hypocrisy of some of this people who are speaking on this topic is ridiculous. They are not even true BVI Islanders because they were not born on this soil. They are holders of dual citizenship. Their children are born on US soil and so they are able to go to the US and enjoy and take advantage of all the benefits that comes with US citizenship. Why can’t someone who has made the BVI their home for 20 plus years, pay taxes and be good peaceful persons in this country not get the opportunity to get their status regularized!!! STOP FIGHT WHAT ALLU YOU WOULD WANT FOR ALLU SELF AND ALLU CHILDREN If ALLU was in another mans country!!!!!!!!’
  • Eye for an eye (16/05/2019, 12:32) Like (12) Dislike (10) Reply
    British people should start a petition to stop BVI citizens getting any rights in UK and take their UK passports away, give a temporary permit instead, that will only be fair.
  • Simple Maths (16/05/2019, 13:07) Like (22) Dislike (3) Reply
    I have drawn from both sides of the argument and can sympathise with all involved. What I don't understand is why talking and reasoning about this matter isn't the argument for both sides.

    The Expats are saying BVI people are unfair, etc. I don't think that they are. I think they are uninformed and would like to know exactly how this will play out, after having time to make suggestions for how the process should be implemented. That's democracy. Its their country. Why cant they have a say? Can they have a say in how other countries are run? The short answer is no.

    The further argument that BVI people have dual status - US/British. Why is that even an argument though? It's mere geography, and a maintained relationship with the UK that cultivates that. Most countries in the Caribbean had a similar opportunity to be British, and all the advantages that that affords but chose independence. How could that be an argument here now? By voting for self-determination, these countries made it harder to position themselves to be able to travel to the USA and the UK and by default, their children are not born there. How is this the BVI fault?

    As it relates to regularization. Should persons in the territory be regularized? Yes, I think so, but it should be done in a manner which compliments many factors including the economy, size of country, impact on social welfare and culture, etc. Time lived in BVI is also an important consideration, but not a right. Valuable contribution to society is a better yardstick to measure by and any status conferred is a privilege. For clarification, a right cannot be revoked. Immigration status conferred can be revoked if certain factors are present and is therefore a privilege.

    I have seen so many derogatory comments towards BVI people because they have spoken out about this matter. I am not from BVI and I think its interesting that expats say BVI people are prejudiced, wicked, etc but still live among and have children with them. If you are feeling disadvantaged, why stay? Why argue for what is not yours? I came here to experience something different and happen to love the place and the people I have met here. The day I feel anything like what is expressed in the blogs, is the day I decide to leave. I don't understand why persons would complain, berate, curse a place and its people but be fighting to remain there. Something is very wrong with that.

    I will end with I hope the government AND the people of the territory can find a happy medium. I also hope that expats and BVI people alike come together and TALK about this matter. Spewing negativity and beating each other up virtually makes no sense. At the end of the day, its their country and we, having decided to come here, have to understand and respect that. If we cannot, then its time to leave. Simple.
  • @ simple maths (16/05/2019, 13:32) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    My sentiments exact. I hope it stop now because you hit the nail on it’s head. Love what you said and I agree totally. Straight talk
  • wize up (16/05/2019, 13:38) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    the way forward should be very intriguing as it relates to the Vanterpool Matter & the Belongers issue: however it is very nice to see some of the infrastructure issues are being addressed: this ting call politics could be very dramatic while tampering with certain social matters....talking up Promises under the campaign tents is far more challenging to executing those promises while in public office: it appears that government(s) need to chat with the people before attempting to implement certain initiatives.... especially on social concerns
  • Challenger (16/05/2019, 14:43) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    backlog should have been cleared first.
    issuing amnesty( for those who.qualify !) for residency solves the problem of people being conserned that they dont have security that their permits will be renewed each year and hence...dont " invest" in te residency takes care of that.
    giving belongership away so easily is dangerous for the people of the british virgin islands. i think that once residency is aprooved...then the wait period to apply for the privilage of belingership should.have been INCREASED from 2 year to 5 years (for those who qualify and have invested in the territory by way of owning a legitimate operating business...contributed the here full time......) but with the assurance that they will be processed withing 6 months. dont give it all away VIP
  • Replay (16/05/2019, 16:27) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    So this guy is saying all expatriates left the BVI after IRMA. Of course many left because they had no where to live, others left because they have given up hopes. But most of them remained and rebuild the BVI. I know of some who remains here and were taken to court to pay rent for damaged apartments that they have to find tarp and plastic to cover the roof to protect what little possessions they have left. Not considering the hundreds that came in to help with the rebuilding. We are living in a world where we have to extends brotherly love and do what is right and not on an isolated island where dog eats dog.
  • to be or not to be(long)? (16/05/2019, 16:56) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    15 years is quite a long time to live anywhere without getting some kind of status. The point of this initiative seems to be to recognise the contribution expats have made to the local community and to not treat them in perpetuity as second class citizens in terms of voting rights or property ownership. If you are an expat and you left after Irma (or any other time) for more than 90 days you are not eligible - harsh but fair. A lot of locals left the territory after the storm while a lot of expats stayed to help rebuild and their contribution should be recognised. Statistically, immigration usually benefits the host nation economically and this is not a sudden influx of "foreigners" but motivated and committed people who have already been living here for a long time and love the BVI as much as anyone else.
  • NezRez (16/05/2019, 19:46) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am all for those who were waiting for 10 years and up receiving their status, but it was sent out to the public very hastily. Why not give it 6 months to allow locals to fully understand what is the impact on our islands, because it seems something is underhanded, not that there is. Give everyone time to grasp the reality of what is actually going on. This was sprung on us too fast.
    • reply to nezrez (17/05/2019, 08:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Government work must continue.NDP started it VIP must continue.No rush,the country must on,,
  • summer (16/05/2019, 20:51) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    premier made a big issue out of a system problem we need to give expat what they are qualified for when they made the years. That need to get fix. Now it's Expats against BVISLANDERS. WHY? The Premier means well he has the country lost on this one. I don't know if he has the courage to stop it. Why should anyone any where get Belongs after 15 years.
    This is not Us or The Uk , we are one of the smallest country in the world. Going to a country and working for money is that doing some thing for the country and not you. Premier we have some more serious issues in the BVI t. Stop making immigration our number 1 this is not the USA vs Mexico !!
    • ? (17/05/2019, 06:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      summer// most folks in BVI because of the United States Dollar they have striving business or property back in their home country and the BVI is the pocket book. Belongers Status for some of the people will simply give them ease in and out of the territory. Status should be granted to persons who have a business development interest then a residential interest in the territory. After the hurricanes the territory hardly have an place for people to live and not enough jobs to go around. Persons having intentions to establish business so employment can increase or people interesting in calling BVI their permanent place of residence not just the ability to run back and forth between the BVI and Homelands
  • legal team (17/05/2019, 08:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI will never get over populated,with expats.Every person in the BVI today,has an expat connection. because for decades BVI children are being born in USVI,USA and PR by BVI parents and expat parents. When these BVI-Americans attend university in US,after graduation,they stay in US.So let the expats populate the country,if not,we will be under-populated.No one to work,to pay rent,to pay bank and to travel on boat and by plane.
    As Chief Minister in April 2007, Doctor,the Hon. D Orlando Smith,as leader of the BVI Constitutional Negotiating Team to Buckingham Palace,wrote the following in an excerpt document,as an address to the nation.
    On page 3 of 15 The then Chief Minister Dr.Smith wrote and I quote..["The new Constitution will make some significant changes to categories of persons deemed belong to the Virgin Islands while preserving status and rights already acquired. In relation to persons born (outside) the Virgin Islands,belonger status has (extended) to (include) the (second generation) of Virgin Islanders born (outside) the Territory. This cures the anomaly which exists in the present constitution and answers the call which was made loud and clear to ensure that such persons are deemed to belong to the Virgin Islands and to enjoy all rights attendant to such status"]..
    It is written and it is a Constitutional-law,from 2007 -on, that the Great-Grand-Child of a Virgin Islander,born in Santo Domingo (for example) and who does not know where BVI is located on the Caribbean map,can come to the BVI as a 30 year-old adult, and say "Hey,my great-grand-father BORN HERE, I deem to belong HERE".
    But law abiding expatriates who stayed with us in good times and bad times,through storms and hurricanes, etc for 15-20-25 years from teenagers to adults, from parents to grand parents in the BVI,and helped to build BVI, we saying these expats we see everyday,that they cannot become belongers? Consultation for what?
    Hon, Andrew Fahie should say to all Virgin Islanders, "where there is no vision,my people will perish.
    Give the law abiding expats residents their belonger status and residence status'
    God will bless you..
    CASE CLOSE..Next topic..
  • Optimist. (20/05/2019, 08:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well done BVI ! Fighting against your own people, whilst the real issues rears it's ugly head. The unemployed youths stringing along the corners, the airport which is stagnant waiting for a decision to decide weather or not we continue to fuel St. Thomas economy ....... continue to be blined by hate and an ever replay of history ,where a nation falls because of divide . The BVI will soon lose what we've tried to hold on to...."YES" our BVI. Lost is the right to enter some of our beaches , lost is the right to own a decent piece of property as BVI islanders. Half of the BVI made the decision to have their children in the US, and for what reason I really don't care ; however they may claimed for their children through descent and automatically gains the same privilege as Tortolans.

    It is quite unfortunate how we fought amongst ourselves in the mean time our islands are being sold to the highest bidder. The future looks great ! soon only the rich will be able to live here . BVI please wake up , we have fallen asleep on the shores of "HATE".

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