Immigration takes on eleven new recruits

| 02/06/2010

(CNS): The immigration department is currently training a new class of eleven recruits the first to join the front line since 2007 the department said. The officers are undergoing a month long training programme in order to become immigration officers the men and women will cover a diverse range of topics such as forgery detection; interview techniques; behaviour analysis; enforcement; and intelligence. Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans illustrated the unique nature of the Cayman Islands immigration service when she told the recruits of the delicate balancing act, as both gatekeepers and goodwill ambassadors that they faced.

 
She emphasised the need for teamwork “in an unpredictable environment,” and told them to take pride in their positions, “whether you are in uniform, or not.”
 
The training includes field exercises and tactical training, as well as classroom presentations. Some sessions are led by other government agencies, including the departments of Tourism, Prisons, Customs and – to emphasise the use of technology –Computer Services. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service will conduct training on ethics, interviewing, target identification and law enforcement, while a private law firm will conduct training on the Immigration Law and Regulations. 
 
Former CIO Franz Manderson took the first class explaining how he progressed from being a filing clerk on high-school work experience, to joining the Department in 1981, becoming an experienced immigration officer, to heading the Immigration department from 2004 to 2009. Now, as the Chief Officer in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs Manderson has oversight of the entire portfolio, under which the department falls.
 
He warned they would deal with many issues – from sham marriages to employment matters –Manderson directed them to learn local legislation, as well as international rules, governing people such as asylum-seekers and refugees. Manderson also spoke about the department’s history including milestones such as the Cuban refugee crisis, and the ensuing policy changes; and the immigration issues surrounding Hurricane Ivan.
Encouraging officers not to be judgmental or discriminatory, he added:  “Your business is dealing with facts and certainty, while treating everyone fairly and consistently.”
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