Advice flawed says Chuckie

| 21/10/2010

(CNS): Former government minister Charles Clifford has added his voice to the concerns raised regarding the premier’s proposal to remedy the country’s economic woes by revamping immigration policy. Clifford said the proposed reduction in the residency break from one year to one month, which was made by McKeeva Bush recently, is flawed and unlikely to sustain legal scrutiny. Clifford has challenged Bush to present the public with proof of the legal advice that supports his proposal that it would protect the country from mass status grants. Additionally, it is uncertain if the advice received by Bush applies strictly to the Cayman Islands immigration laws or if it took into account the British Nationality Law that also governs how residency, and consequently status, can be obtained in overseas territories.

Bush’s press secretary told CNS that the premier intends to table the advice, which is believed to have come from Lord Pannick QC, in the Legislative Assembly next month. However, Clifford claims the legal advice alluded to runs contrary to the advice given to the previous administration.

"When the Cabinet of which I was a part considered this matter we took legal advice on the matter from several sources. The legal consensus was that any break of less than 12 months in residency would render the term limit provisions in the Immigration Law ineffective because it was highly unlikely to stand the test of legal scrutiny and would be successfully challenged in the courts," he said. "The court would likely take the view that a break in residency of less than 12 months could not reasonably be said to either constitute a break in legal residency or establish that the person was no longer domiciled in the Cayman Islands."

During a televised address in September the premier first told the country that he had received legal advice from Britain that the Cayman Islands government could make the rollover as short as it chose and said he would be examining changes to the immigration policy. “We have legal advice from the UK that says we can make the rollover time as limited as we want to in our legislation,” he said, later indicating that the rollover gap could be reduced to as little as one month.

Clifford, who has since resigned from the PPM, does not believe that such advice exists.

"The premier’s claim that he has advice from the UK that the government can successfully reduce the break in stay under the term limit provisions in the Immigration Law to 30 days is suspicious at best and is contrary to all of the legal advice which was previously provided," he said. “If the premier has such legal advice as he claims he does then I call on him to voluntarily publish it in the spirit of Freedom of Information before it is formally requested, he added.

Responding to this challenge, the Office of the Premier told Cayman News Service that the legal advice would be made public next month. "The premier has previously stated that once the legal advice on this
matter was presented to Cabinet he will table it in the Legislative Assembly. The premier plans to table the legal advice concerning the required break in residency at the end of the immigration term limit
in the LA next month," said his press secretary.

Bush has raised the issue of immigration and the need to attract people to the Cayman Islands, as well as the need to encourage people to keep their earnings here. He said that Cayman was exporting part of its GDP as a result of the way the country’s immigration policy encouraged foreign workers to send money out of Cayman. He said any country which exported its GDP was doomed to failure.

Clifford questioned the validity of the premier’s motive for immigration changes. "Despite what the premier and some of his supporters have said, the economic problems in the country are not related to the term limit provisions in the Immigration Law," he said. “Our economic misfortunes are directly related to the global financial meltdown, which has been made worse by the UDP government’s decision to increase taxes across the board three times in 15 months and reduce salaries by 3.2%. The UDP government has implemented a flawed economic policy. They need to understand that you cannot tax your way out of a recession, but if they don’t reverse those taxes and jettison their flawed economic policy they will tax us into a depression.”

Clifford stated that government had made the cost of doing business prohibitive and its flawed economic policy had reduced everyone’s disposable income, which was the reason why businesses are closing and why people are being made redundant and leaving the island. Only the government can change that through a reversal of their damaging policies, he indicated.

Implementing the proposed changes to the Immigration Law would, in effect, repeal the term limit and would in turn increase the number of expatriate workers entitled to Caymanian status, Clifford suggested. "I believe that the premier’s attempt to substitute the 12 months break in stay for 30 days under the term limit provisions of the Immigration Law is the UDP government’s way of abolishing the term limit provisions altogether because they are well aware that it will not stand the test of legal scrutiny," he said. "If the premier and his government want to repeal the term limit provisions they ought to be brave enough to say so and stop playing games with our Immigration Law and hiding behind
what will inevitably be a successful legal challenge."

Currently, the law requires expatriate workers on work permits to leave for a minimum period of twelve months after working for seven years before they can return. The period was originally set at two years but was then reduce to twelve by the previous administration, as they said it was the minimum period which could be accepted in law as a genuine break in stay. This would then prevent all permit holders from meeting the threshold to be entitled to begin the process of becoming Caymanian and thereby creating what was perceived as an imbalance between indigenous Caymanians and foreign status holders.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Clifford has highlighted and elaborated on the effects of the The Immigration Law with the UDP changes. This mixed with politics and greed will soon ruin our country.   To forecast, it will only provide an influx  to the present  job market, and continue to deprive our benefits, that we have long enjoyed. Have our ‘sensible’ people stopped and smell the roses, to learn of the plights that we are faced with?? – Of course, we are in a recession, and on this note we will continue to be without  jobs, no homes, no businesses which are  about to become assets of the past. 

    How many have  thought of where we are heading, if we are not careful enough in our decisions with little or no consideration  for our country and its’  people, with our Immigration Laws which we regulate to create dilemnas that will compound these problems into years if we do not have the foresight and sensible people. 

    Our infrastructure is becoming weaker and weaker.  The big question is, who will pull us from under the Clay or pity us at the end of the day ?  No one!!.  It is a shame that our people are loosing their livelihood and assets.  Positively, this was not a way of life for Caymanians so continue to keep our tourches burning.

  2. anonymous says:

    WOW…a consummate Legal mind in our midst!
    Who would have thought?!

  3. Tracy from Swamp says:

    22:00 You are correct Mr Charles Clifford is a Gentleman.  He will return your calls and speaks to people in a good way.  He is very intelligent and is definately a politician, and some one we can depend upon to represent us abroad.  So sad that he was fried in other people’s fat, last election.  Sometimes we divorce for better, having to finding out that new broom sweep clean, but old broom know corners.

    • Anonymous says:

      good to hear that he is doing what you say now becasue he certainly didn’t do it when he was elected…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another direct and sensible statement from Charles Clifford…….now I would like to see him join forces with Arden, Moses, Theresa & Jonathan Piercy to lead the formation of another political group.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Chuckster strikes again !!! ………Mac you better build that wall a little higher……he’s coming to get you again 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Clifford did not fail his ppl his party did PPM. he is not perfect like any politician he is human, he is far better than mac and udp.  why are you people agaisnt him, he is only trying to protect the best interest of the people against Mac’s bad policies and you all are against him?

    i would rather Chuckie as Premier any day over Mac, he is educated and a good leader.. chuckie pls form your own party

    • Anonymous says:

      Chuckie don’t you worry about the few negative remarks……those are inevitable in politics……..your position Chuckie is spot on !!!

      The few negative remarks are probably coming from some of your former PPM colleagues who can’t handle the fact that you are not a puppet for them or anyone else. Lol. Too bad that more of them don’t have your courage Chuckie.

      My vote is for The Chuckster every time !!!!

  7. O'Really says:

    Bush – “We have legal advice from the UK that says we can make the rollover time as limited as we want to in our legislation,” 

    I don’t doubt this is correct, but of course it is irrelevant.

    Any CI government can, with the appropriate majority, pass into law just about anything. Whether such legislation can then successfully meet a legal challenge through the courts, particularly in the UK, is another matter. 

    I see similarities here with the moratorium imposed on status grants in 1991. It works as long as those who might have rights through the operation of international law and convention never seek to enforce those rights. In my view the successful legal challenge of the moratorium in 2002 was in large part responsible for the mass status grants which followed. If Bush implements this amendment to the Immigration Law, I would not rule out a similar eventual outcome.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Abaddon i think you need to read about Agenda 21 more carefully than you have read it.

  9. Soon to be rolled says:

    Although I hate to say it I can’t see a month being able to break up residency, otherwise you could say the Premier is no longer resident in Cayman.

    Andwhile saying reduce taxes and increase Civil service pay does make a nice sound bite chuckie, unfortunately that would bankcrupt the country. How would you reduce the deficit? by pray?

    Other offshore jurisdaictiopns are looking at loosening thier immigration policy’s. Bermuda is looking at even scrapping their term limits.

    And at the end of the day being in cayman 8 or 10 years doesn’t entitile you to PR, that still has to be granted on application.

    So basically term limits are not needed, cabinet or immigration could just decide (as they currently do) who can stay and how can’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      Respect Chuckie for admitting party system is a problem…of which he was a part and I agree that the suggestion to increase civil service pay appears to be political rhetoric and simply easy way to oppose one action taken by the present government.

      But disagree with you regarding the offshore jurisdictions scrapping the term limit regulations. Globally there is a greater awareness that immigration reform is needed………..they might be removing the term limits only to replace with more effective means of control and protection for citizens and national secuirty goals.

    • Anonymous says:

      I THINK THAT WE SHOULD DO AWAY WITH THE RESIDENCY ALL TOGETHER. Most folks only want to come here to work any how. All we need to do is to moniter their behaviour and give them as much time then as they want with the  understanding that they will not get Residency, and that if they mess up that they will kicked out immediately. Another thing too Immigration need to have staff that is not on a big high in so much that they give you misleading advice. I recently had to deal with that situation and it was very pathetic that an Officer do not know the laws. One tell you one thing and the other a complete different thing and that is with an attitude too.Attitudes has helped to ruin this Country.

      • Anonymous says:

        You seem to have missed the whole point of term limits. Under international law if a person has resided in a country for at least 10 years they will be entitled to apply for permanent rights in that country. Whatever "understanding" is reached they can still turn around and complain that their human rights are being breached if you do not allow them to apply for residency. Have you forgotten what became of the status grants  moratorium. The term limit serves to break that period of residency so that most will not be allowed to stay for 10 years. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Chuckie the man for Country and its PEOPLE!!

    Thank you for making it known where you stand and what is the truth behind it all. Once again Common Sense!! Like a previous writer wrote lets take matters into our own hands. You can not tax your way out of RECESSION!! Its crazy where do the people have an option to call home in this world?? NO where besides here and no one is surviving!

    WAKE UP we need answers and giving more people the choice of having 2 homes is ridiculous we dont have the space and money to support other nationalities!

    • Truth says:

      to support other nationalities

       How do you support other nationalities? it is ather nationalities supporting you.

      Expats pay more to the goverment in work permit fees and stamp duty on homes, as well as paying al the same indirect taxes as Caymanians

      Yet expats use less government services. They can’t send their kids to the free government schools, they certainly don’t get any housing benefits, etc. They you lose your job you have to leave.

      to you should be really thinking how many expats are needed to support the Caymanians in the life style they crave

    • Anonymous says:

      Chuckie the man for the country?  Are you kidding me?   If he was worth retaining the people of this country would not have let him go.    But no, he messed up the tourism industry and everything else that he was responsea ble for, got kicked out and now finds his self idle.    Now he is trying his hardest again to attack McKeeva who is working tireless to find a solution to the mess he and his ppm team left behind. 

      I say NO CHUCKIE, your tricks won’t work again.   You cannot lead this country, you had your chance and made a mess, who is to say you will be any different the next time around.


  11. Abaddon says:

    McKeeva Bush is on a mission to destroy this country. Up ’til now, I’d say he was doing a darned good job.

    Every policy he implements is perfectly in line with the UN Agenda 21. If you want to see where Cayman will be in 5 years, (maybe less) just google Agenda 21 and you will see.

    If you like it, great, but if not, then this man needs to go now. Anyway, this will also explain why the Governor is so silent. Why should he say anything when the Premier is doing such a good job?

    They have exactly the same agenda. Who cares how they achieve it?

  12. Anonymous says:

    A day late and a dolla short. Didn’t the PPM say this a couple weeks ago? 

  13. Anonymous says:

    All the wangling over how many years and months the break in residency should be misses the crucial point: this is supposed to be about the human rights of long-term residents. Expats are entitled under international law to gain certain rights once they live somewhere long enough. This is supposed to be about ensuring Cayman’s growth through a gradual population increase – by allowing those that have proven to be productive and managed to stay out of trouble to remaon on the Islands and become a permanent part of this society. Instead, it has become a circus focused on coming up with the cheapest plan to deny deserving people their rights while at the same time fool them just long enough to make them invest their hard-earned dollars in the local economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘All the wangling over how many years and months the break in residency should be misses the crucial point:’ – this is the crucial point!

      ‘Expats are entitled under international law to gain certain rights once they live somewhere long enough.’ – hence the reason for rollover and the crucial point of the break in residency!

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly, the rollover is the problem we have to get rid of.  Either you respect people’s human rights or you don’t.

        • Anonymous says:

          Rollover should be kept and people’s human rights should be kept.

          • AML WAKE UP says:

             How can you say rollover and human rights in the same sentence?  What the rollover does is prevent 50% of the population from obtaining any human rights….right to be represented, right to vote, right to reside, right to have children here, shall I go on?  Work permits are a form of legalized slavery.

            • Anonymous says:

              ‘Work permits are a form of legalised slavery’.  This is what happens in every country – legal and illegal slavery. Perhaps people should demand human rights in their country and stop making demands in mine, when they can’t demand a darn thing back home – and had to leave.

              Caymanians don’t want their islands to become overpopulated and THIS IS THEIR HUMAN RIGHT just in case people forget that we have rights in our country and we don’t have rights in some other countries. I don’t want to go to cold & wet Europe so don’t even suggest it!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Chuckie for pointing out the obvious, but because you and others have exposed the flaws by the Premier and his cronies, they will not yield to make the necessary amendments.  This Government is only out to undo what the previous Government has done and in so doing is destroying these Islands.  They are trying to undo every law or Bill on the books, just so they can create an identity for themselves. 18 Months after and all they have done is raise taxes, Blame PPM, tell the world we are broke and cut salaries and then they wonder what happened?  Why are businesses closing? Why are people leaving? I say to the people of Cayman, start taking matters into your own hands and get rid of these losers.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Clifford, you failed this country when you were in office.  You have a lot of audacity to criticise the present government, not that things are peachy, don’t get me wrong, but you and your people really put this country in a hole, so I would suggest for you to keep your mouth shut.  You never opened it when you should have.  You lead this country into turmoil 

    • Tracy from Swamp says:

      06:55 Hey, Hey, please stay out of Bodden Town business.  If PPM put us in a hole the UDP has burried us in a Mine field.

      Chuckie did not do anyhing worse than any from your party.

      We want Chuckie, we want Chuckie, We want Chuckie.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not a party person but Chuckie has earned respect from me over the years that he was in Politics. I remember coming home from Miami on Cayman Airways and at the counter the attendant was so rude so I vowed that I was going to report her to Chuckie when I arrived home and I was very lucky and met him in Town and reported the incident to him. Hew told me not to worry that he would deal with it. I since then heard from staff that he did as there was numerous reports on her and the next time that I went back to Miami she was really professional and nice. Another thing about Mr Clifford is that he always speak to you whenever he meet you in a genuine way. He never acts like he is a blessing to creation, and his wife compliments him well. Like I said before I do not believe in party Politics . I just vote for the better men from whatever they are from. Folks remember when we are fighting for some of these Politicians they are making up friends. POLITRICS MAKE STRANGE BED PARTNERS.

        • Anonymous says:

          So you made a personal complaint to Mr. Clifford, bypassing the proper channels for lodging a complaint with Cayman Airways. You are pleased that he dealt with it (likely bypassing any of that pesky protocol required for employee rights). Oh, and he and his wife are really nice to you. Wow.  

          As Sir Winston Churchill famously observed, "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

    • Florence Goroing-Nozza says:

      Chuckie you proved yourself again. I commend you for your boldness and great insight.

      I totally agree with you, there is indeed an ulterior motive behind this Premier’s recent proposal to change the rollover policy reducing it dangerously and drastically. Population has nothing to do with our success.

      30 days is considered a ‘VACATION" away from home or the workplace. We can not allow the UDP and its leader to shove this horse manure down our throats again.

      This is indeed a direct attempt to INCREASE NEW VOTERS VIA STATUS GRANTS BY 2013 to keep the UDP in power because they have undoubtedly lost votes from the registered voting majority who are FED UP WITH THEIR PERFORMANCE.

      This government will go down in History on the record as the worst and most abusive, treacherous, and contemptuous  government ever elected to the Cayman Islands Legislature! 

      Chuckie, I urge you to continue to emerge as a leader of the independents, you will do well, because Independents its going to be that get elected next time around, and we must do whatever is necessary to stop the Premier from proceeding with his 30 day rollover policy  WHICH IS NO ROLLOVER AT ALL!.  Keep an eye on things and don’t hesitate to take action legally if necessary.

      I think its also about time they go into the public purse and start paying some of us for protecting the public from these UDP bandits via our contributions and voice in the media, this new government havn’t a clue how to run or steer this country other than INTO THE GROUND!

      Time to take away their big fat checks and split it up between us all, as forum contributors do you realize are doing all the work! the job of the so called Opposition to be exact! Clearly  the PPM is too weak to fight and is doing NOTHING TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE FROM THE UDP ALL IN THE NAME OF SELFISHNESS AND LAZINESS.