Hon. Andrew Fahie
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith has been urged to establish a committee to quickly dispose of the many outstanding cases where persons have applied for Belonger status and are still to be regularized.
First District Representative and Opposition Member, Hon. Andrew Fahie addressed the matter of regularizing persons who have been living in the Territory for over 20 years, applied for Belonger status and are still waiting on the outcome of their application.
"I ask the premier to put a special team in place and ask them for all those files that are 20 plus and have them regularized. If they have a bad police record tell them you can't stay. If they not behaving themselves and wouldn´t leave the woman husband and wouldn´t leave the man´s wife tell them you can't stay...you can´t be breaking people family and getting status; it ain´t right. You have to have a moral obligation to the Territory too. I not saying open the door and just let them in. Let us get a special unit to speed it up," Hon. Fahie stated during Other Business at the September 3 sitting of the House of Assembly.
According to Fahie, the issue is an unpopular one and that some of the very persons that have to process the applications would question "why they filling up the place".
He urged the Premier not to depend on the regular system to clear the current backlog.
"Whenever you try to do the regularization of them you meeting resistance Madam Speaker from some of your persons who might have to handle the matter...I could understand if you going to full it up with persons who just come. That is wrong, but madam speaker why we referring to them is that some of them don't even remember where they came from. Some of them here 45 years and have not be regularized; paper work in and you fighting to get them regularized," Hon. Fahie stated.
He revealed that some work was started with the previous administration and the former Premier Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal, but a few persons even within the Government jumped up to say that "we were crowding up the place".
The First District Representative told Premier Smith that persons within his administration will also "jump up against it".
"I am not saying give away the BVI, but they have contributed for 20 years plus and if they write in to ask can I be a citizen after 20 years plus; if we not going to give it to them tell them....what perplexes me is that the very persons that are blocking you from regularizing don´t create peace by day, but want to have peace by night...some of our people that say that they are indigenous; that verbal about those 20 and plus married to the very person that came from Caribbean and going home to sleep with them and don´t want to give somebody that was here 20 plus years peace by day, but want to have peace by night," Hon. Fahie pointed out.
The First District Representative shared the experience of a woman who has been living in the Territory 30 years, submitted her documents twice and is still to be regularized.
According to Fahie, the woman is very bitter and her bitterness is transferred to her daughter that went school with him and onto the grandchild.
"If we don't close this up once and for all and then shut the door bram tight we will be fighting to get to the promise land divided. I understand our indigenous people get angry when they hear these things, but what are you going to do? You either going to solve the problem or we will continue a hatred that doesn´t need to exist," Hon. Fahie stated.
He added that the BVI whether persons want to hear it or not has changed and "it ain't going back to what it was".
"Whoever home sitting down dreaming that it going back to where it was in a lost state. Yes our culture needs to be known and they here long enough because they have contributed positively to our culture. Most of them. Don´t tell me the people we does call island people mash up here alone. Some of the worst blows I get was from some of them right here that born here. Some of the worst things with my family is from some of them right here," Hon. Fahie stated.
Hon. Fahie questioned who brought the persons to the island.
"How could you contribute to your own problem, blame others and then leave the problem and say never fix it. They are human beings; they have feelings. Those I am talking about can't vote so I realize I put myself at risk, but don´t worry...It´s an evil brewing in this Territory," Hon. Fahie stated.
He made it clear that he was not referring to persons who came to the Territory within recent years.
Meanwhile, Premier Smith indicated that when the National Democratic Party was elected in 2003, they met a backlog which they cleared. He stated that the current administration will also look into the current situation.