Statement by Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Walter Roban

The Progressive Labour Party today reaffirms our position that giving away Bermudian citizenship and the right to vote to hundreds of non-Bermudians is a red line we will not allow to be crossed.

While we support efforts to increase revenue and to encourage investment in Bermuda, we do not and will not, support the OBA Commercial Immigration scheme.

 The PLP is committed to defeating any effort to relegate Bermudians to second class citizenship status to anyone sneaked in under a cash for passports scheme. The recent amendments to the Incentive For Jobmakers Act has already opened a doorway for a select few at the expense of Bermudian workers.

 The PLP will not be supporting any legislation or policies that continue this trend of disenfranchising Bermudians. We encourage Bermudians to contact the OBA MPs and let them know that like us, you won't stand for any effort to push Bermudians to the back of the line for jobs and opportunities in our own country.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is advising that it will host a public meeting on January 14 to provide information on Commercial Immigration.


The public will recall that in last November's Throne Speech, Government announced its intention of exploring the concept of commercial immigration, an initiative aimed at creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

Next Tuesday's meeting will take place at the Cathedral Hall on Church Street from 6.00 pm - 7.30 pm.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about other jurisdiction models of commercial immigration and commence a dialogue about potential models that could benefit Bermuda.

The presentation will be facilitated by an independent think tank, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) - an organisation based out of Washington DC. MPI is dedicated to the analysis of the movement of people worldwide and they have extensively researched other governments' commercial immigration policies.

Commercial immigration is fast being seen as an emerging global trend, where countries are using creative methods of encouraging investment and create new jobs.

Models are being used in close to 20 countries, including St. Kitts, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Malta, Mauritus, the US, the UK, Canada, Singapore, Monaco, Portugal, Latvia and many others.

And in recent months, the Ministry has reviewed the various models that countries are using to drive investment, create jobs and stimulate tourism developments and capital projects.

Today the Minister of Home Affairs, Sen. the Hon. Michael Fahy said, "As we indicated in our Throne Speech, one of our primary objectives since coming to office has been to give Bermudians a new chance, by breathing life back into the economy, creating jobs and providing hope and opportunities for our people.

"For the past year, this Government’s focus has been on rebuilding the economic foundation of the Island, unblocking the job-creating power of the private sector and restoring confidence in the Island as a place to do business. Measures to refresh the Island’s attractiveness to international business and tourism investment are a critical part of the Government’s economic turnaround plan.

"Growing the economy and getting more people and investment capital to our shores, is the most direct way to generate the jobs and opportunities that Bermudians need.

"With these goals in mind, the Ministry of Home Affairs will host an information session next Tuesday to discuss the potential for direct inward investment in the Island through a commercial immigration programme that supports business, job and career opportunities for Bermudians."

Minister Fahy continued, "The structure of the conversation will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of commercial immigration as well as present ideas on what investors could receive in return for their investment.

"As I have previously said, while there are varying views regarding the solutions needed to grow the economy, the general consensus is that bold ideas need to be explored. Commercial immigration is one such initiative that we are exploring. It's my hope that we can have a robust, yet constructive discussion around this topic and we look forward to the public's participation, input and ideas to assist the government in making informed decisions on immigration policies and direct inward investment opportunities."