Dear friends and fellow members of the Bermuda community,
I have never been the type of person to express political thoughts through Facebook or any other forms of social media but with what has been occurring in this community as of late, I can no longer hold back the views and emotions that I have had for many years now.
Did you know that I am only able to reside in Bermuda due to the fact that I attend Bermuda College? Every six months, I must apply in order be a resident and to be able to travel freely in and out of Bermuda. Without proof of me studying at Bermuda College, I wouldn’t be able to do these things and would be kicked out of the country. I graduate in two months...
My mother and father have been in Bermuda for 25 and 26 years respectfully. I was born in Bermuda, raised in Bermuda, and attended St. Johns Pre-School, Northlands Primary, Dellwood Middle and CedarBridge Academy. The opportunity to apply for a Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) was presented to my father, but through a different and quite unfortunate circumstance.
As some may or may not know, this law was enacted in 2002 but in order to become a Permanent Resident of Bermuda, a cutoff date was established and had to be met. The cutoff date that was created was of July 31, 1989, and in order to become a PRC holder, one had to arrive in Bermuda before that date.
My father arrived here in December of 1989 and missed it by four months. As this was his case, his only option was to apply for PRC under Section 31B and was only able to remain in Bermuda and attain it on the behalf of his brother who attained PRC under Section 31A, as he has been here since 1981. When in this predicament under Section 31B, one is no longer able to pass this PRC down to their spouse or children and that is exactly where my difficult predicament comes into play.
Although I was born here, raised here and lived in Bermuda for my entire life, there is still that setback where I was born to Non-Bermudian parents. Although this may be the case and is thoroughly understood, it remains unjust for me to not be able to apply for PRC, Bermudian Status or at least be deemed as a Bermudian.
When confronted with different situations in high school, such as the time to apply for scholarships and universities, my only option was to abstain. After being an honor student throughout all four years of high school, after being accepted into Brock University, and after graduating as Vice President of the National Honors Society where I took part in many different actions and volunteer work within the community, my only option was to attend Bermuda College due to financial reasons and also in order to remain in Bermuda.
As stated, this in fact is the only way that I am able to reside in Bermuda. If not at Bermuda College and without proof that I am a full-time student there, I have no right to reside in Bermuda. But the question is, where will I go? I am scheduled to graduate in two months time and the question still remains, where will I go?
Bermuda is my home and Bermuda has always been my home. I want it to remain this way for the rest of my life. If given the chance to do this and if given the chance to finally be accepted by the community as a fellow Bermudian, which I am sure that I deserve just as much as every other Bermudian, I know with all of my heart that it will be more than worth it.
This will not only benefit me and my future family, but would also benefit the island of Bermuda. If the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment 2016 is passed, I am sure that this opportunity would enable me and many others who are in similar predicaments to contribute towards this society with regards to many economical and social aspects.
These individuals have been here for 15 years, 20 years and more. These are individuals that have contributed to this society in many different ways. These are individuals that have dedicated more than half and if not their entire lives to this community. What makes them different? What makes them not as important or accepted when all that is trying to be accomplished is a being able to live a happy lifestyle?
I strongly believe that a comprehensive change should be made simply because of the fact that this isn’t thousands and thousands of individuals that are being talked about. As established, it is a very small minority within the public that would be able to apply.
Jobs will not be taken away from Bermudians as these individuals already have jobs. If anything, job opportunities would be created with this amendment as they would now have the chance of owning property and owning their own business. These individuals have been here for 20 or more years. These are not newly introduced people that are coming into Bermuda.
This is only a part of my story and struggle that I have experienced over the years. These are merely my views and opinions on this particular matter as all I am trying to do is bring not only peace and happiness to this society, but also understanding as I believe that looking at an issue from a different perspective or getting to know what it may be like in the shoes of another can make a difference.
If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to make them with a respectful approach as I am more than happy to respond.
Christine Thursday, 28 April 2016 10:22 Comment Link
I know, let's let the foreign scum in but not let them breed in order to avoid these heartless parents from putting their children in a situation such as Kevin's. Let's blame it on the parents for having a child born on the island, because we have to blame someone, don't we? It’s one thing to tell an adult (expat, guest worker…whatever you want to call them) not to get comfortable in Bermuda,, and that their stay is on a temporary basis - but telling a child, who has no control over where he or she is born, not to grow roots in the only place they identify as home is absurd.Report
Many of a child’s ‘firsts’/milestones (first friendships, first day of school, learning to swim or ride a bicycle, passing a driving test) all happen in one’s formative years. How can a child NOT have an emotional attachment to the place where s/he was born and grew up? Where is the young person supposed to feel they belong? I'm so sick and tired of all of this. It has got to change.
Shari-Lynn Pringle Thursday, 28 April 2016 10:04 Comment Link
A heartbreaking article which proves our system is broken and needs fixing and not some swooping and hasty legislation in order to benefit some. Wishing Kevin every success in gaining Bermudian status. His story and opportunities not taken point to failures by adults in his life as this didn't have to be the case. JMOReport
To the cowards who continue to call those of us who made a stand derogatory names, consider all the benefits you have that protect you as a worker as a start. Then turn the mirror on yourself!
ST Wednesday, 27 April 2016 20:58 Comment Link
You have the majority of Bermuda's support. It is a terrible situation that you have to go through this but have faith it will be set right. Sadly negative comments have been made above as there is a lot of hatred in this world. However, those negative people commenting are no more Bermudian that you are. Not one of them has been here for very long and it's almost guaranteed that one of their parents or grandparents is an immigrant. We are all immigrants, even if i'm 16 + generations Bermudian, my family is from another country originally. That's how the world works. Your parents did not "choose" to put you in this position, humans have been migrating throughout history and the world's demographics have continually changed and will continue to do so regardless of nasty politics. Good luck and hang in there.Report
Rhonda Neil Tuesday, 26 April 2016 11:31 Comment Link
While I feel your angst,.Thank you for sharing But how did your father and his brother manage to get here and stay so long...also did your parents not know the position they were putting you in.. Did they prepare you in anyway for the possibility that you may not be able to to call a place they may love home..Report
I love a lot of places I can't call home for a variety of reasons..
Dennis Monday, 25 April 2016 21:33 Comment Link
Kevin....Every situation should be looked at individually and the decision rendered accordingly. We can not have a one size fits all approach. However, based upon the information you've shared it certainly appears that your predicament deserves immediate attention with a swift resolution. I trust that in short order there will be positive news on your story. #oneloveReport
T H B Friday, 18 March 2016 23:50 Comment Link
Kevin, I too try to stay out of politics but unfortunately your story is one of many and I felt I had to give u my support. It seems nothing will help u in the next two months but I do hope with enough support, you will get the help you need somehow, someway. As for the first comment - I'm pretty sure Kevin's parents DIDNT PLAN to 'put him through' any of this but rather thought that the place they lived, worked & paid taxes in, would never throw out one of their own!!!!!!Report