Anger: Marchers protested last week.  *Photo by Gary Foster Skelton
Anger: Marchers protested last week. *Photo by Gary Foster Skelton

We need to start looking at PRC holders as individuals, according to Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy.

Mr Fahy told the Bermuda Sun that looking at those now eligible for status as simply a group failed to do justice to their contributions to Bermudian society.

He maintained that the decision not to challenge the court ruling giving PRC holders the right to apply for status was the right move, 

But he admitted that Government had underestimated the lengths people who were against PRC holders receiving status would go to use misinformation to get their point across.

He said: “We need to look at who these individuals are that will be able to claim status as PRC holders.

“A number of them own large businesses that employ Bermudians.

“There is a human element of each individual just like any Bermudian.

“It’s disappointing that we are prepared to speak up against people who have been part of our community for so long.”

The Home Affairs Minister added: “I don’t think we underestimated the emotion of this issue, but we did underestimate the lengths to which some people who are anti PRC will use misinformation to get their point across.

“One of the most disappointing things has been that misinformation has been used to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

“Using figures that are untrue and saying that PRCs are taking Bermudians jobs; it’s not just wrong it inflammatory and it is doing a disservice to everything in Bermuda.

“The facts have been drowned out by the misinformation.”

Mr Fahy rejected the idea that PRC holders were taking advantage of a “loop-hole’ in the law.

And he maintained that the Government would look at wholesale immigration policy reform in the months to come.

He said: “We will still look at wholesale immigration reform.

“Not because of this issue, but because that was something that we said we would in our Throne Speech.

“There are still other issues that need to be looked at.

“And reform has to be look very carefully at the circumstances and longevity of individuals.

“We have to replace ourselves because we are dying out quicker than we are procreating.

“So if we are going to sustain ourselves as a country we need people to stay.” 

The Home Affairs Minister has faced calls to resign as well as personal attacks for his handling of the PRC issue.

But he said: “It’s unfortunate to get the personal attacks.

“Attack each other on policy not personal circumstances.

“It does not make any sense in Bermuda.”