Interim reports on immigration reform
The Ministry of Home Affairs is to release interim reports concerning immigration reform, it was announced yesterday.
A spokeswoman said public meetings would also be held as “specific milestones” were reached.
It came after pressure group Supporting Fair Immigration Reform warned that the island could face problems similar to those in Britain over the Windrush generation — people who moved there after the Second World War and were named after the first emigrant ship to arrive from the Caribbean in 1948.
Migrants and their descendants were threatened with deportation from Britain this year after they were told they were in the country illegally because of a lack of paperwork.
The ministry spokeswoman said: “The Ministry of Home Affairs will be issuing interim reports on progress with regards to immigration reform, in addition to holding public meetings as we reach specific milestones.”
The spokeswoman said the committee was using a report released last year by the Consultative Immigration Reform Working Group as it continued to recommend reforms of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act and its relevant policies.
The report set out principles and made recommendations relating to mixed-status families, permanent-resident certificates and Bermudian status.
The spokeswoman said: “It should be noted that the bipartisan committee on immigration reform are looking at a much broader set of issues regarding immigration reform such as work permit legislation and policies, land ownership and establishing key definitions such as ‘domicile’ and ‘ordinary residence’.”
She added that the committee, made up of home affairs minister Walton Brown, Progressive Labour Party MPs Renée Ming and Christopher Famous and One Bermuda Alliance MPs Leah Scott and Ben Smith, had met regularly “to move this work forward”.
The spokeswoman said: “Immigration involves a wide range of issues and will not be resolved in one fell swoop.
“Therefore, because of the complexity of immigration issues, the public will have the opportunity to review those issues in a series of interim reports.”
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