We have to protect Bermudians
We have to protect Bermudians
The One Bermuda Alliance’s position that PRC holders won’t be taking jobs because “they already have jobs” and that “PRCs already have full freedom of employment”, are insensitive to the thousands of Bermudians who cannot say the same.
What the OBA will not admit is that there is an immigration policy that dictates a hiring hierarchy:
• Spouses of Bermudians
• PRC holders
• Work permit holders
Therefore granting status to PRC holders, would place them in direct competition with Bermudians for employment while many educated, talented, and capable Bermudians are unemployed.
The OBA often says that Bermudians simply don’t understand how the economy works. However, too many Bermudians do know that the economy is not working for them at present. Let us look at some facts:
1. Approximately 3,500 Bermudians are unemployed
2. Bermuda’s youth unemployment rate is approximately 38 per cent
3. Job losses are nearly three times higher among Bermudians (7 per cent) than among PRCs (2 per cent)
4. Approximately 1,200 persons were reported as unemployed recently
5. There is a disparity in incomes, with PRC median income at $81,601 and Bermudian median income at $58,640
6. There is also a disparity in unemployment levels with PRC underemployment at 9.5 per cent. Bermudian underemployment is at 17.5 per cent
The OBA has failed to produce a plan to create 2,000 jobs for Bermudians as they promised pre-Election. In fact, many of the policies that they endorse can be viewed as Anti-Bermudian including:
• Creating a pathway to status for persons born in Bermuda to guest worker parents
• Allowing foreign companies to purchase residential property, despite the fact that approximately 38 per cent of our residential lands are currently owned by non-Bermudians.
• Removing term limits without consideration given to protect key occupations for Bermudians, thereby opening the possibility of a new wave of long-term residents seeking status
• Attempting to allow the children of guest workers to compete with Bermudian children for summer employment
Pre-election, the OBA promised that they would not grant PRCs status and many Bermudians believed them.
Yet today, they refuse to collaborate and close the loophole that would allow thousands of PRCs to compete with Bermudians for jobs and property.
The PLP believes that Bermuda’s Immigration Policy must take into account our island’s unique circumstances, our size and limited resources while protecting access for future generations.
That is why the PLP extended rights to PRCs in the first place; a gesture that was fair to Long-Term Residents while protecting Bermudians’ birthrights.
Bermuda needs an immigration plan that encompasses the big picture and puts Bermudians first.
That can only happen if the OBA is willing to collaborate with us. We encourage Bermudians that the time has come for us to work together to create a comprehensive National Immigration Plan that works for all of us.
Connecting with Bermudians
Thursday, July 10, at Clearwater Middle School at 6:30pm the PLP will be hosting the third in a series of town hall meetings to speak with Bermudians about their concerns about this issue.
The panel will include:
• Deputy PLP Leader Derrick Burgess
• Shadow Immigration Minister Walton Brown Jr
• Senator Diallo Rabain
• Shadow Education Minister Lovitta Foggo will moderate the event.
Thus far the OBA has refused to listen to, or speak with the people of Bermuda over this issue.
Just as we engaged with Bermudians over key issues of employment and the SAGE commission, we will continue to listen to them and be their voice in parliament.