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US President Trump proposes radical Green Card policy change, Caribbean residents demand similar measure from own governments

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#UnitedStates, January 12, 2018 – Washington, DC – Newly touted Green Card reforms are billed as having the power to bolster the competitive edge of the United States of America and restore trust between its People and Government.  President Donald Trump, flanked by Senator Tom Cotton and Senator David Perdue on Thursday at White House unveiled a proposal for sweeping and significant changes to the country’s Immigration Policy, said to be the first such changes in half a century.

9E77A337-3086-4DA7-B44B-7AB9A226DFD1_cx28_cy14_cw50_w1023_r1_s“The RAISE Act will reduce poverty, increase wages and save tax payers billion and billions of dollars.  It will do this by changing the way the United States issues Green Cards to nationals from other countries.  Green Cards provide permanent residency, work authorizations and fast track to citizenship,” said President Trump as he explained the reason for this dramatic switch.

“For decades the United States was operating and has operated a very low skilled immigration system, issuing record numbers of Green Cards to low-wage immigrants.  This policy has placed substantial pressure on American workers, tax payers and community resources, among those hit the hardest in recent years have been immigrants, and very importantly, minority workers competing for jobs against brand new arrivals and it has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers,” he said.

While there are already naysayers weighing in on the impact of this more stringent and selective policy proposal,  Mr. Trump said the change is a demonstration of compassion for American citizens which puts the working family’s needs first.  The President is also confident that the legislative proposal will result in migrant workers who are more successful in the United States.

“The RAISE Act ends chain migration and replaces our low skill system with a new point-based system for receiving a Green Card, this competitive application process will favor applicants who speak English, can financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy.  The RAISE ACT prevents immigrants and new migrants from collecting welfare and protects US workers from being displaced.”

It is a measure which president Trump explained was mandated by the American voters.  However, more than Americans are sounding off on the legislative proposal.  Magnetic Media in testing the temperature of Caribbean region residents on the subject found that people support the message and some are weary of the messenger.

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“I have been watching him (Trump) for a while and watching his actions and my thing is he has an issue with brown and black people.  I feel honestly that he is actually racist…he has problems with the Hispanics, he has problems with the Muslim countries and so I figure that (proposed new RAISE Act) is to target the brown and black people.  But I agree that even we, in The Bahamas are losing our sovereignty to the foreigners and our government has to get tough and that has to stop.”

The man speaking to us via WhatsApp is resident in the Bahamas’ second city, Grand Bahama and adds that he objects to the other comments reported to have come from the mouth of President Donald Trump related to Haiti and a few other nations.

While those reported demeaning comments from Trump are grabbing some headlines and sparking vigorous debate, it seems the reports on the remarks are more designed to steal the spotlight of the new policy proposed and drafted by Senators Cotton and Purdue; still many in the region are paying attention and hoping their own country will follow suit.

“If the Premier of the Turks and Caicos was more hard-nosed about immigration, this place would be better off because there are too many people who are here on work permits and a lot of them need to go.  There are too many Filipinos here, too many Jamaicans, too many Haitians here and a lot of them are preventing locals from being able to find a job.  Turks and Caicos really gatta take a hard-nosed approach to Immigration.”

In the second half of 2017, both The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos announced controversial measures to stem the flow of illegal and legal migration, including a freeze on new work permit applications and traveler visas to the TCI and in The Bahamas a December 31, 2017 deadline for illegal migrants to leave the country or face deportation.

A former resident of the region and UK citizen explained, “Its got to be the way forward.  You can’t have open boarders to be world.  Just nuts,” he said, “The other week I spoke to a Haitian guy in Provo and he has – wait for it – nine children from five different women.  No wife as yet, he told me he hasn’t found the right one.  I told him to go and have it (penis) chopped off!”

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The man commenting to Magnetic Media says the United Kingdom is also favoring a point system for immigrants post Brexit.

In 2014, a report by the Migration Policy Institute in the United States revealed that there were four million Caribbean immigrants in the United States, which was nine per cent of the 42.2 million immigrants in the country.  Leading the top five were Cuba, at number one; Dominican Republic was second; Jamaica was third; next was Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago rounded out the top five.  The Bahamas was eighth on that 2014 list, with Turks and Caicos having no distinct spot on the chart.

#MagneticMediaNews

#USGreenCardpolicychange

 

Photo credit: Wikipedia & VOA news

 

 

 

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Minister Moxey says partnerships for development will help get Grand Bahama going again

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#TheBahamas, November 27, 2021 – One means by which Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey plans to utilize every resource at her disposal to get things moving for Grand Bahama again, is to utilize partnerships for development.

“Success with these partnerships on our island are embedded in collaborative efforts between the ministry of Grand Bahama, other government ministries, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson Whampoa Holdings Ltd., industry stakeholders and the business community at large,” explained Minister Moxey.

“We must unite and work together to build alliances for success with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Grand Bahama Island excels.  We are all in this together.”

The Minister’s remarks came during her keynote address at the ninth annual Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort. The event is held to honor Grand Bahamian business owners for their commitment, achievements and dedication to the development of the second city.

Minister Moxey pointed out that this year’s event, under the theme, celebration of excellence, acknowledges and highlights businesses on Grand Bahama that have stayed the course. She added that this kind of recognition is a beacon of hope for local business owners who have faced and overcame some of the most challenging circumstances ever encountered within the island’s history.

“On November first during my contribution on the bill to thank the Governor General for his Speech from the Throne, I pledged to the nation that I would do the people’s business and utilize every resource at my disposal, to get the job done for Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey.

“As a Grand Bahamian and business owner, I can attest to the challenges we have faced over the past decade. The devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which was closely followed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It further strained our already fragile economy. Today’s administration is also well aware of the challenges that Grand Bahama has faced over the past decade. Nevertheless, we will deliver on our commitment to recover, rebuild and revolutionize our island, our economy and usher our people into the new day.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses represented today, that have kept their doors opened and our people employed. To all of the Business Excellence Award nominees, I congratulate you. Remain encouraged and know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“To the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, thank you for being a staple in the business community and for celebrating excellence for the past nine years. Welcome back business excellence awards.”

 

By Andrew Coakley

Photo Caption: Minister for Grand Bahama, Ginger Moxey (right), along with President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Greg Laroda presents Mrs. Leslie Baptista, of Paint Fair, with the President’s Award, during the ninth annual GB Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort.

(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Caribbean Development Bank to offer solutions for TCI with Sea Defences

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 27, 2021 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has committed $600,000 to investigate upgrades to sea defences in the Turks and Caicos Islands, disclosed by the Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Akierra Missick as she sought to reassure residents about the state of the defenses.

Concerns were raised by residents recently when the newly paved Front Street, Grand Turk was severely flooded because the sea wall was unable to hold back massive waves.

Minister Missick acknowledged the concerns but said that the government had been working on upgrades since August of this year. This, she said, had begun with a “holistic review of all of the island’s sea defenses.” It was revealed that this review is being done through an environmental consultancy agency.

The consultancy is set to run for 11 months.

At the end of the consultation period, the government should have what Missick described as shoreline characterization for Grand Turk and Salt Cay as well as designs for measures to break wave strength before it reaches shore and infrastructure upgrade designs for the entire coast of Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

Feasibility studies will be carried out alongside these infrastructure designs to determine their effectiveness.

Meetings between CDB and stakeholders including residents, tourism operators, engineers, coasts resource advisors, and others are set to occur over the 11 month time frame.

A coastal resource and vulnerability analysis is also set to be completed. This, Missick said, is a pre-emptive effort to prevent future problems.

Opposition leader Edwin Astwood spoke out regarding the flooding incident. He said the flooding was caused by faulty engineering of the sea wall rather than drainage along the road. In the House of Assembly on November 22, Astwood claimed the wall, which should have been built with a curve, was built flat.

Missick has not yet responded to the claims but has promised that CDB’s preliminary report should be tabled with Government by Summer 2022.

 

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Leading revenue earners need to include a boosted Financial Services Sector says Finance Minister Saunders

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 27, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos economy has surpassed expectations for revenue by almost $90 million dollars. Finance Minister E.Jay Saunders revealed the top four categories that spearheaded the increase, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the revenue brought into the TCI.

The information was presented at a November 8 press conference where the Finance, Investment and Trade Minister also provided a simplified version of country finances in a Citizens’ Guide to the Budget.

Saunders said, in his presentation, that every single revenue item overachieved, pushing the original $271 million dollar budget to a projected $361 million.

The first category was Work Permits which is projected to have, a near $2 million dollar increase. Next was Accommodation Tax, which is projected to have an almost $15 million dollar increase in revenue, followed by Customs Import Duties with a projected $22 million dollar increase.  Finally, Stamp Duties rounded out the main four with a whopping $34 million projected increase.

He did warn that despite its brilliant performance, the TCI economy must diversify and do so soon. He cited supply chain issues that are currently affecting the global market saying that if even one of the major categories of revenue were to be affected it could be detrimental for the economy.

He said “Over 80% of our revenue comes from four categories…When we talk about diversifying this is one of the reasons why, because of anything happens to say, Customs Import duties it would be a disaster.”

In tandem with this call to diversify that the minister made significant mention of Financial Services as a fifth category for fiscal development. He said that despite the industry still being fairly small that “if the government can manage to grow it just a little bit it would make a huge difference.”

Cayman and the BVI were cited as examples of territories which had managed to build strong financial services sectors. He assured the press that, “The only thing we have to do is modernize our legislation and become more of a competitor…and we don’t need to increase our market share significantly to grab another 50 million dollars.”

In contrast, the biggest expenses were Salaries, Pensions, and Hospital charges with the Ministry of Health getting the bulk of the budget.

While the Finance Minister was pleased with the progress, he also expressed his determination that the TCIG be able to increase their now $360 million budget to $400 or even $500 million.

This, said Saunders, would allow the government to hit their 2040 goals to improve quality of life for TCI citizens.

 

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