The individuals behind the ‘Supporting Fair Immigration Reform‘ group said they “would like to applaud the Honourable Chief Justice for his decision recently to invalidate a $5,000 fine imposed on Ms Ashley Aguiar for taking unpaid work.”
“It is surreal that a young woman born in Bermuda and who has lived here for all 22 years of her life would need a work permit to take unpaid, unstructured work in order to get experience. We are confident that Hargun CJ was just applying the law, and the outcome was undoubtedly the right one,” a spokesperson said.
“Ms Aguiar’s story shows exactly why Comprehensive Immigration Reform is needed. There is a growing class of people in Bermuda who for all intents and purposes are Bermudian through and through, and who know no other home.
“Bermuda continues to be one of the only jurisdictions in the world where no possibility for any form of status exists for people born here or who have lived here for their entire lives. This is a tragedy which puts Bermuda in breach of its international legal obligations.
“We echo Ms Aguiar’s hope that her experience inspires changes to the immigration laws. Many people like her are already here and have contributed to our society. Many also have immediate Bermudian family members and have grown up as a Bermudian.
“Not only is it the right thing to, it is also in Bermuda’s economic self-interest to not lose its long-term residents. As the Fiscal Responsibility Panel stated recently in their 2018 Assessment:
“Reforming immigration practices and policy. A precondition for faster growth is to increase the island’s workforce. It is the only realistic counter to the island’s demographic challenge from a rapidly shrinking and ageing population. Immigrants and returning Bermudians with the right skills will help to create jobs, not displace them.”
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