Early in 2013, I wrote that the OBA will attempt to grant status by a number of means. I was accused of scare mongering and playing the race card.

Official denial

In the House of Assembly on July 26th, the OBA vehemently denied that they had plans to sell status.

They accused the PLP of “enflaming passions” (MP Moniz) and “creating a strawman” (MP Grant Gibbons) at the mere suggestion. 

Mr Gibbons said: “Nobody on this side has talked about basically allowing people to buy status or anything of that sort. 

But it suits their purpose to raise it. Raise the issue of a straw man…. Yes, exactly. It is creating boogeymen.”

MP Trevor Moniz said: “I find this quite amusing…… I saw some of those comments and I, in fact, remarked to someone that I did not agree with them. There has been no statement from this party saying there is any agreement with any.”

The pattern of deceit

First, the OBA abolished term limits making us vulnerable to the issue of long-term residents.

That was quickly followed by the OBA’s proposal to allow the children of non-Bermudians the right to employment. This was put on hold following the massive protest of most Bermudians.

Then was the revelation in November’s Throne Speech that OBA planned “to provide pathways to Bermuda status for persons born in Bermuda.”

And now this proposal for Commercial Immigration.

Pick a Number, Any Number

Without a national immigration plan, how will OBA decide how many citizenships will be up for sale? 

A publicly-staged talk on commercial immigration will be hosted by the Migration Policy Institute which is a think-tank that advises on immigration-related issues.  

Ironically, they tout that their recommendations “result from balanced analysis, solid data.”  

What data will they use?  

MP Richards has stated that “Government does not do a good job at collecting such data” — Royal Gazette, August 23. 

MP Gibbons reiterated, “I have always been skeptical of census data.” House of Assembly, December 6, 2013.  

Will statistics be created by the OBA to support the selling of Bermudian status?

The question of security

Many critics state that the selling of passports undermines the integrity of national passports and poses an international security concern. 

St Kitts was forced to stop selling passports to their biggest customers — the Iranians — following the Iranian storming the British Embassy in Tehran. 

Both Canada and Britain imposed visa restrictions on Dominican citizens after concerns that suspected criminals had purchased Dominican passports.  

Are Bermudian passports’ credibility in jeopardy for an exchange of money?

Lack of principles

The obligation of Bermuda’s government is to serve the best interest of Bermudians.  

What the OBA is proposing is morally reprehensible as it grants the winning bidder, and their off-spring for generations to come, lifetime access to Bermudian land.

More importantly, it also gives power to non-Bermudians to determine Bermuda’s future, via the right to vote.  

The real motivation

To retain power, the OBA will need to find more votes for the next election. They are attempting to create a new loyal voter base through the prostitution of Bermudian status. 

They are effectively attempting to enhance; social, economic and political apartheid. 

Christopher Famous may be reached at Caribe_pro@yahoo.com