Caines pledges laws for mixed-status families
Changes to legislation to tackle the problem of mixed-status families will be tabled this summer, the national security minister said yesterday.
Wayne Caines said: “We believe that by the end of this parliamentary session, we will definitely be able to have legislation that will go through the parliamentary process on mixed-status families.”
He added that the Government would also be “looking closely on dealing with the belongers issue”.
Mr Caines said: “We will be looking at the issue, specifically on this occasion, of children that are born to Bermudian parents overseas.
“So we'll be looking to pass legislation on those things specifically this parliamentary session.”
He was speaking as he announced the start of a two-week consultation period to canvass public views about the way work permits are granted.
Mr Caines said the request was to make sure any potential changes to the system had public support.
He added: “It is hoped that any changes made will assist in skills, job enhancement, training and development opportunities for Bermudians who may be unemployed, underemployed or are looking for a career change.
“We believe that any decision made will affect us all, so it is of the utmost importance that everyone be given the opportunity and follow through with voicing their concerns, their opinions and providing their feedback.”
Jobs are classified under four work permit categories: closed, restricted, special and open.
Mr Caines said he was often stopped on the street or contacted about concerns about particular jobs going to expatriates.
He added: “There are a number of people that have opinions. They believe that certain categories should be changed.”
Mr Caines said that the Government had pledged that immigration policy would “better reflect our mandate of putting Bermudians first”.
He added: “This includes ensuring that Bermudians can secure employment in their own country.”
Mr Caines said he had asked the Department of Immigration to make changes to work-permit policies.
He added: “We wanted a policy to strike the right balance between the legitimate expectations of Bermudians and the legitimate labour needs of businesses.”
Members of the public can register their opinions at forum.gov.bm. Written responses can also be dropped of or mailed to the Department of Immigration. The closing date for submissions is May 14.
• To view Wayne Caines's statement on work permits in full, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”