Immigration board to change

| 04/11/2010

(CNS): Expressing his frustrations with efforts to speed up work permit related decisions, the premier announced his intention to change the members of the immigration boards as well as introduce more new policies. McKeeva Bush also said government would be putting a stop to the questioning over permits of those coming to Cayman for short business trips and creating more residency certificates for CEOs and investors to encourage them to relocate here, especially those bringing business from China. Speaking in both the Legislative Assembly and at a public meeting this week, the country’s leader continued to point to immigration changes as one of the key areas which will help turn around the country’s economic fortunes.

Turning his attention specifically to the boards and the decisions they are making, Bush warned in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday morning that he intended to review the membership. “We are going to change the people on the board, whether they are government supporters or not,” he said. “The tail cannot wag the dog.”

He also said that there would be new policies introduced at the airport which would stop officers from question those visiting Cayman for business meetings about temporary permits, as they did not need them, or taking their lap tops away. “Business people coming to the country for legitimate business meetings will no longer be held up at immigration control with questions about a work permit,” he told his legislative colleagues.

Speaking at the Bodden Town meeting on Tuesday night, the premier said he would extend Cayman’s welcome to staff or family travelling with those coming to do business without permits and red tape.

As part of the government’s goal to move away from the ‘brass plate’ style of business in the Cayman Islands and a move towards a physical presence, Bush said he was introducing more twenty-five year residency certificates for those bringing actual fund and investment business to the jurisdiction.

CEOs from China in particular, he added, would be offered various residency incentives to attract them and their business to the Cayman Islands, which in turn would generate more jobs for Caymanians

“We are moving now to attract businesses to these Islands by offering a 25 year residential certificate to owners and or CEOs and their dependants that move their businesses here. We will encourage business from China with a similar Chinese Investment Certificate,” Bush said on Wednesday. “We will also make it possible for foreign nationals who invest in developed real property of at least 2.5 million dollars to be eligible to apply for permanent residence for themselves and dependants.”

The premier has persistently stated that the existing immigration system is one of the main reasons why Cayman has lost business jobs. In the Legislative Assembly he berated the opposition benches for not doing anything about stopping the businesses from leaving when they were in office.

The premier has stated on many occasions that changes to the immigration system will encourage business to return as well as encourage new business sectors from the financial services industry to set up shop in Cayman.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    CNS: will the sister islands board also be changed?

    CNS: Sorry, I honestly have no idea.

  2. Anonymous says:

    TOO LATE DON’T YOU THINK

    The culture of  corruption, influence and discrimination is in grained into the Immigration system. Why do some get permits with ease and others cannot get a single permit. Why does the financial industry get favoured and other industries are not. Why are some people favoured and others are not. Why is Immigration political with new boards every time there is a new Govt. ????

    Clearly there is not a level playing field and this is basically corruption within Immigration. This culture is withou principles and ethics and is the route cause of our problems in our fragile economy.

    Changing out the board and people at immigration will make little difference when new people will come in with the same protective and corrupt attitudes as the previous order. Immigration has basically been running all our businesses in a corrupt and discriminating way for decades, so how is this culture going to be changed. 

    A business employing all Caymanians who wants a single permit cannot get the permit when other businesses like security services, restaraunts, real estate, super markets, financial services and many other have the vast majority of their work force on work permits. The UDP under the Premier and Sherie Bodden was the Govt who originally came up with the roll over policy which the PPM continued to implement, now they want to scap their brilliant idea that has caused so much damage to our economy. 

    Immigration and the whole system is broken and in an absolute mess with no-one willing or prepared to fix it.

    Businesses are closing down or have totally shelved all plans for the development and growth of their businesses because they are fed up with immigration running their businesses and being involved in how their businesses should operate through the control of their staff. Obviously there are abuses of the system, however the corrupt culture within Immigration and its not what you know it is who you know in Immigration that gets the permits. Immigration is THE PROBLEM !!!

    From a Caymanian who has had enough and will no longer try to create jobs and develop their businesses because it has just become all too hard.

  3. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva’s comment about the tail wagging the dog is very appropriate from this perspective – he can’t now blame anyone for calling him a dog….other than himself of course…….but even in that case it must be either the PPM, The Chuckster’s or dem two "jockeys" fault that he was called a dog.

    Ruuuuufffff, Ruuuuufffff, Ruuuuuufffff !!!

    His bark is laways louder than his bite. All talk and little action……check out his record over the last 25 years.

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    Instead of blaming the immigration department Mac might look at the exhorbitant work permit fees he and his governent imposed! I have known of companies who had to close divisions because they could no longer afford them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr.BUSH, how will the immigration officer know that i am there on legitimate business unless they question me? And what is legitimate business – if I am there to do MY kind of business …

    • Long story says:

       I worked hard for many years as an ex-pat and trained Caymanians to succeed me in every senior management role I worked in.  Then, I married a Caymanian and now enjoy my citizenship.  I’ve been her for over 16 years and think I’ve seen both sides…..

      I do NOT think Immigration works hard enough for the locals.  It only seems their rules apply for small businesses and not the big boys (cronies).  I’m tired of the large companies passing by my Caymanian friends and allowing the work permit renewals in the newspapers to be WRITTEN for the WP Holder.  

      The DER is useless, period.  

      Until Immigration gets off their butts and start to fine BIG companies (Telcos, Marketing, Hotels, Banks) for not recruiting QUALIFIED Caymanians, they will never have my respect.

      I know of 4 degreed Caymanians, Status Holders, and PR Holders that are experienced and unemployed.  These are talented, well respected white collar managers who are still being passed over by North American WP holders……WHY?!?

      • Anonymous says:

        Guess the PR  and Status Holders  now see what the Caymanians have to go through when the apply for jobs. Simply having status now puts you at a disadvantage.  Give up the status and you might be able to once again get work with the big companies who simply refuse to hire Caymanians or paper Caymanians.

        I  beleive that the immigration boards need to do a better job of denying work permits for the companies who have a reputation for not  hiring Caymanians, and that ranges from prominent banks and trust companies to law and accounting firms who hire friends and friends of friends only.

        Deny a few of their so call ed Key Employees and permits and demand a meeting with a few of the HR people on staff to let them know they are being watched with their anti-Caymanian practices. The only people not satisfied with the people on the current boards are those whose permits are being denied.

        Those firms are the ones wagging the dog, with their threats of leaving.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Ever stop to think why any business that WANTS to make money and a good reputation would not WANT to hire certain persons?  When you threaten businesses if they do not hire who YOU think they should YOU are anti-business.  CIGs anti business practices have only created less businesses and more unemployed Caymanians but don’t worry be happy.  I don’t expect people like you to understand such a complicated situation.  I know I lost your attention at stop.

          • noname says:

            We can’t offer every foreigner who comes to the Cayman Islands a job. When will  they even begin to understand that? I realize that we need some permit holders but we can’t provide jobs for all of them. Our own people have got to eat and take care of their family and household too. There are those companies who just don’t care to hire a Caymaian, whether he has a Masters and is willing and able to work does not make a difference to them. They would much prefer to bring in their friends or relatives from which ever country they are from . The Canadians look out for the Canadians etc and as Caymanians we need someone in those firms to give us an opportunity to make a living too!! 

            I don’t  have any feelings of entitlement ,I am simply asking that  companies stop advertising those jobs just to satisfy immigration policies and stop wasting our time by having Caymanians come in for an interview and no matter how well we do, we are still denied because they have already identified the permit holder .

            • Anonymous says:

              I know of a particular trust company located dead in the center of town who would much prefer to hire permit holders. I have been trying to get a job and have applied for a partucular position every time it comes out in the papers. Have yet to hear from them. They just want to be able to tell the board that they have advertised as required but no Caymanians applied. I would reccomed that every Caymanian who advertise for a job cut out the ad and send it in to Immigrationfor their files. This will make it harder for HR people to lie as the board will know who applied.

              The DER does work as I understand that the immigration boards do defer permits in order for employers to contact that unit. Know of a few people who have been hired as a result of being registered.

              Leave the boards in tact; they are doing a good job. The current boards have some reputable people appointed, especially the BSP. Couple of people from the financial sector who know what is going on and what is required to keep the wheels rolling. Permits are being granted to non-Caymanians, now we need more jobs for Caymanians who are coming home from university.

        • Trueblood says:

          CNS: Can I mention a few names of companies I feel don’t like to hire Caymanians?

          CNS: No.

      • michel lemay says:

        My friend long story, I am not sure I know you but YOU SAID IT ALL !!!!!!!! It’s a handicap to be Caymanian period. But if we all don’t start to work together we will be the only ones left here because most will run back to their country when the going get though and it will take us years to get back on our feet like the Bahamas and by then however we will be more in control. That’s ok we still going to make it. To answer your question, it kind of remind me of Jesus. His own received him not instead they crucified him. Let’s hope we can repay that loan if not what? Time os longer then rope .

  5. Just Sayin' says:

    Someone I know should take heed in the below statement from the Premier of British Columbia.

    "But Campbell said he concluded his political struggles had become too big a distraction after seeing the muted public and media reaction to his announcement last week of the second largest income-tax cut in the province’s history.

    "I think it is in the best interest of British Columbia to refocus people’s attention," he told reporters. "When people are focused on one person … it’s better to step aside."

  6. Anonymous says:

    yo cayman:

    as a so called ‘christian’ nation, what would jesus say about your immigration policy?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I suggest people in Cayman brush up on their chinese…

    你好!

     

  8. The Crown says:

    Why doesn’t he just come right out & say it? “The only Caymanian’s he wants to remain here are his cronies,himself,his immediate family & those who tell him he is right when he is wrong”. Just come out & say it Mr Bush. Every single job site is 100% Jamaican & if there is any mixture at all,those are not Caymanian. Should every Caymanian abandon their trades & make video games? All we hear from you is how can you make it easier for those who covet the Caymanian enterprise. Mr Bush of all the fees affecting Caymanians,how does reducing in your recent farce,the key employee fee help us? Continue to feed those with a insatiable appetite for what is not theirs, but because you & others allow it,a economic problem that is linked to all of this will be the least. You up fees,”we” pay them,remember that. We also pay your fee which is hi for terribly unbalanced results. You have a sweet mouth Mr Bush,unfortunately Fosters & other’s only exchange goods & services for currency.On these points Kurt Tibbetts is in no way different.Lastly i have nothing terribly against Jamaicans,other than their relentless huddling,like most others,to reap & to take control. I have many Jamaican friends who are a cut above. But if need be i’ll say quickly, this is my country,my people toiled since time began & none can point to my people & say a Caymanian does what many of them have no manners in doing.

  9. Anonymous says:

     Perhaps  the Premier would explain his particular interest in Chinese Investment Certificates.

  10. John Evans says:

    Of course a lot of the WP problems might be resolved if CIG recognised that they probably (and I freely admit that it still has to be decided by someone filing a complaint but that will come) shouldn’t be imposing any restrictions on EU citizens who want to live and work in the Cayman Islands.

    It makes very little sense that a Caymanian on a UK passport can travel freely, work, reside, claim welfare benefits or qualify for free medical treatment in the EU without undergoing any prior medical screening or police checks while the same is not true of EU residents seeking work in the Cayman Islands.

    In fact granting EU citizens the same rights they already enjoy in some other Caribbean islands might just attract the kind of real businesses (rather than what are referred to above as ‘brass plate’, or in the courts here as ‘letter box’, businesses) that Mr Bush is looking for.

    In particular it might open up the islands to investment from the European hotel companies and tour operators who are already catering for very large numbers of tourists on the neighbouring islands.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Godbless everyone..

    • S. Stirrer says:

      Thank you so much for your Sterling comment. We are all truly blessed.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Go on McKeeva, don’t make the stupid people slow you down.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The problem isn’t the members of the board, it’s the concept of having a board.  Why is it required and what the heck are they doing? 

    If there has been no Caymanian applicant (majority of cases) what is the problem with issuing a permit???  Why does it take three months of humming and hawing??  Then they come back and say you must ask DER if they have anyone, they send someone unsuitable, and you go back for them to hum and haw some more.  

    The problem isn’t the rules in the law and regs, it’s the rules (aka policies) they make up on the spot.  Customs does the same thing.  They need to stop making up rules as they go and then springing them on law-abiding customers.  There are a set of regulations for a reason!!  You don’t need to make up stupid secret rules.  Change the regs!  Then everyone knows where they stand.

    • Anonymous says:

      Often the employer will simply say that no Caymanian applied when in all actuality that is a lie. The board has got to remain vigilant for these unfair practices.  There is a lot of discrimination against Caymanians going on out there. It would make your eyes pop if you knew the true extent of it.

      Keep the board members, if they weren’t doing a good job no body would be complaining because employers would be getting ALL their permits approved and that’s all they want; to hell with Caymanians is there attitude.

      Check the Bahamas – bet their immigration  carry out their due diligence to ensure that work permit holders are limited in numbers and that their own are not struggling for work while permit holders take over. Cayman, pay attention.  We have got to provide work for our own. That’s not too much to ask for. 

  14. 345 Love says:

     

    I must say that I am undecided as to how I feel at the moment about this “Change in Immigration” and further more how I feel about the people who are either running my country or running my country into the ground!
     
    Nothing beats a try out but a failure…..so before I go running my mouth let’s see where this grand idea leads us. Hmmph!
  15. Come on Man! says:

    Don’t we hear this same old BS each year about immigration reform, but WP’s are still an expensive bureaucratic mess that crawls along at a snail’s pace. 

    As for the Bussiness Staffing Plan – ummmm, help!  I see no advanatge to having one.

    • BORN FREE says:

      It has been my opinion for a very long time that Mckeeva Bushappoints government boards to do his will & not the will of the members of the boards (who are meant to make decisions based on policies & guidelines). A few months ago Mr. Bush made threats that he was going to change a few of "his" boards because he was not happy with them. It is my guess that he is still not happy with some of "his" boards & feels they are not "listening" to his orders & directions & therefore like any "good" dictator he is getting rid of the non-performers (maybe the ones that are not following orders?) & is planning to replace them with real cronies & yes-men/women. Why else would he change board members that he appointed only 18 months ago? I always think that things could not get any worse, & that he could not act more like a dictator than he already has, but he always proves me wrong!  

  16. Lorrie Furniss says:

    Look at the Immigration Regulations.  If we have business visitors coming to Cayman on short trips, the regulations already state that they do not need permits.  Wake up and read the law and the regulations.

    Exemptions from requirement for work permit

    (2) The activities referred to in subregulation (1) are-

    (a) attendance at meetings or trade fairs and making purchases from Cayman Islands businesses;

    (b) attendance at conferences and seminars as an ordinary participant;

    (c) the receiving of training, techniques and work practices employed in the Islands, where that training is confined to observation, familiarisation, and classroom instruction and only if the person is employed by a company or organisation carrying on business outside the Islands;

    (d) being a representative of an overseas educational institution, to promote, or to interview applicants for places at, such institution;

    (e) being a guest speaker at a conference or seminar where that event is a single or occasional event and not part of a commercial venture;

    (f) the organising or supervising of a conference or seminar for up to seven days duration where it is a single or occasional event-
    (i) involving a specialist subject;
    (ii) attracting a wide audience; and
    (iii) open to participants from outside the Islands;

    (g) the participation in sporting events, or trials or auditions in connection with such events;

    (h) the covering of a specific news assignment as a newspaper, magazine, radio or television journalist representing a recognised news organisation;

    (i) working for short periods on behalf of or for a non-profit or cultural organisation based in the Islands;

    (j) being a representative of a foreign manufacturer coming to service or repair products under warranty;

    (k) the giving of professional or expert testimony in court proceedings; and

    (l) working as a non-executive director of a business being carried on in the Islands where the person is not involved in the day to day operations in the Islands but is visiting in his capacity as a director only.
     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      XXXXX

      There’s no such thing as a 25 year residency certificate and anyone accepting that is an idiot!

      25 years in any country anywhere in the world is CITIZENSHIP!

      PPM and Ezzard you better get this man out of office and fast!

      He’s about to flood the country with foreigners making them eligible to vote for the UDP keeping the people in bondage to a DICKTATOR!

      . His next step will be that they should be able to vote because they are investing! Mark my words.

      Give him one inch he’s lake 1 furlong!

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Wow! I’ve traveled internationally on business; always mark "Business" as the reason for my trip. No immigration officer in any country ever asked me to read a list like the one above. What the purpose of all those questions? If someone is coming here on business let’s smile and thank them.

       

      I’ve done a lot of business in a lot of countries and was asked only 3 questions: “What kind of business, how long was I staying and where was I staying?” When people come here on vacation, do we interrogate them? 

       

      We seem to be very welcoming if they are coming to invest in “real estate”, no permit needed, they can invest in property and earn a rental income without a work permit. I suspect that they can also observe the construction, the interior design work, pick all of their own furnishings and maybe hire the service companies. Looks like work to me, and no work permit needed. Heck, we don’t even tax the property, now that’s what I call inviting. 

       

      Yet if they come here on business their activities must be defined, what’s the difference? Anyone who wants to do business in Cayman should be welcome. No permit required, no fee penalty involved and no nitpicking.

       

      Sometimes I think that we make too many laws. We should look for old, out of date laws and scrap them. Have a contest for the eradication of stupid laws.

       

      In the case of real estate I suspect that it is an activity that was better understood by our politicians and thus the more encouraging approach.

       

      Well the real estate development boom is either over or running in neutral and it looks like it will be a while before we need more rental units.

       

      Maybe it is time to invite other types of business to Cayman. All types of business, even the ones that we haven’t previously thought about or understand, if we are really inviting we just might fill up all that vacant real estate including the empty commercial buildings in George Town. If they stay vacant any longer we will look like Havana.

       

      • michel lemay says:

        We will be begging people to come here soon!

        Not only the buildings in town Mr. Smith, but now we are looking at another major hotel (Westin) to possibly close down. Anyone who knows the history of the Bahamas in the early 1970’s to the end of the 1970’s MUST recognise the writing on the wall. It was their downfall and the beginning of Cayman’s success. We do have Mr. Dart however and it’s not at his advantage to let that hotel close. Actually to think about it, I think he should purchase that as well. To go back to importing cheap labour, and service is at it’s worst Havana is starting to look good. What a mess we are in, Am I the only feeling the disgust and anger here ? Our grandchildren will inherit this big mess. And we are proud to be #10 on the Conde Nest list. Anyone been to some of the places that are said to be ahead of us lately. What goes aroud comes around.

      • Anonymous says:

        "What the purpose of all those questions? If someone is coming hereon business let’s smile and thank them".

        Those are not questions, they are categories to make it clear who exactly falls outside the requirement for a work permit so that it is not left to the mere discretionof an individual immigration officer. The visitor will say they are here on business, and the immigration officer will ask them the nature of their business and see whether it falls into one of the categories.  

        Obviously, it is naive to "smile and thank them" simply because someone says they are here on business. The question is whether it is legitimate business.  

    • Loopy Lou says:

      What nonsense.  These exceptions are very narrow and don’t cover a great deal of business visitors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, so when I come I just need to say I am here on business for a week or two and they will let me in? No quesions asked.

    • Afraid to Strap on a Pair Also says:

      Do you think that perhaps Alicia Keys could have been granted a pass under (f)?  Oh well.  No matter.  No more Jazz Fest.

  17. ProudToBeCaymanian says:

    Borrowed-Time…….do you know, other than Cayman Islands, of any other country that runs its Immigration Boards on "borrowed-time"???

    Why aren’t these individuals hired on an employee contract, on a full time basis?

    Why aren’t individuals contractually bound to up-keep their legal obligations of the CI laws within the terms of their contract?

    Why aren’t these individuals considered Civil Servants??

    Why aren’t these individuals restricted from becoming directly involved with the political interference of the Govt?

    Why are these individuals hand-picked by the ruling Govt of the day?

    Why are we allowing Govt to interfere with our Immigration system by way of creating conflict of interests?

    Why isn’t the Immigration Department and Boards acting as an INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY, very much like the Police and the Courts?

    Why, Why, Why, Why?……….I could go on and on but what will that acheive?

    UNLESS and UNTIL we have a Govt that acts with respect to the laws, processes and procedures of the way the Immigration Department and Boards should operate, and stop meddling with the system in order to appease their selfish wimps, then and only then, will this work-permit system function within its full authority and integrity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because you have choosen as your leaders men and women that are inexperianced, uneducated, incompetent and self serving.  Like many jobs in Cayman the only requirment is being Caymanian period.  No other experiance or abilities required.

      Unless and until the Caymanian people demand that their choosen ones act with respect to the laws,processes and prodedures in all things government will they actually deserve good government.  Until then you have what you voted for.

      • ProudToBeCaymanian says:

        oooooooh no……you defintely have the WRONG person when you accuse me of voting for UDP.  You just don’t know WHO you’re responding to.  Let me help you get the facts straight ….I NEVER voted for UDP in my life AND I’ll NEVER vote for UDP, period.  Anyone who joins that team sanctions their actions of the past, present and future.  Lets me not start on the "uneducated" factor because CNS won’t be able to post it!!

        Obviously both you and I are on the other side of the fence but you should stick to voicing an opinion rather than making accusations.  I encourage you to rise above the typical UDP frame of mind/intelligence.

        Your Caymanian!

        • Anonymous says:

          Dear Proud, you not only sound proud, but just a wee bit locked into your one way of thinking, no matter what the circumstances.  Why are you so rigid??? 

  18. Anonymous says:

    To the poster of 9:03, I agree with you, we do need honest politicians, that’s why we have to back Charles Clifford, he is a honest man and of high morals, I know a lot of you won’t agree with me, but we all know where he is coming from, a good brought upsay, intelligent, smart, calm and truthfull. not like some of them I hear in theLA that sound like they rowing all through their speeches, and can’t answer questions straight forward like they should. it’s time we get some changes in that LA.

  19. Anonymous says:

    About time! Cutting through the political BS and making real changes that will have a direct benefit to the country is exactly what is needed.  It’s not going to fix things overnight but it’s a good start.

    It is ridiculous that individual immigration officers at the airport seem to interpret the rules differently, and enforce them differently depending on the day.  Business people and company directors coming to the Island for meetings should be welcomed with open arms and everything possible should be done to encourage them to bring their families and stay on for a few extra days.

    These people represent tourist dollars and business revenue.  At the moment they are made to feel unwelcome.

    • Noelle Max says:

      Immigration is not the only issue that is inhibiting the recovery and growth of our economy. The government should also look at Customs. They interpret the rules, make up others and generally treat visiting persons or residents alike as if they were all criminals. There is little courtesy in this department and they are a law unto themselves. This needs to change as people dont have to accept such treatment by any border control department. In European countries Customs is a Red or Green corridor/line….there is no inquisition and noone snarling at you.

      • Anonymus says:

        Yes, but in Europe the customs is not the main revenue collection branch. Think of them more as your friendly neighbourhood tax man. Feel The Love.

  20. Some other Anonymous says:

    Cayman has lost jobs because we are in a global recession… 

    • Anonymous says:

      Really, is that what you think??? I would suggest you start looking at the business in Cayman which has moved to other places… Financial Institutions in Cayman are just not replacing staff that leave and are moving clients to jurisdictions where they can offer the service at a cheaper rate helping the client and themselves. Knowing people in the recruitment industry here you will find that a lot of fund administration jobs have movved to Canada, Lux, and Ireland and continue to go. Each one of those jobs generated $7-12k in work permit fees, and the vast majority of the money people earned here went to local business, food, accomodation etc. Before you start saying that all expats send their money home, just work out how much of your income is saved in Cayman once you are paying $2000+ in Rent, plus electricity, food, water, entertainment…, nd now you have lost ALL of it. This country has made it so hard for business that they are slowly finding other alternatives, soon you really will be left with just back office Legal work and company admin which will leave a massive hole in the govt books and the business owners of Cayman… I hope I am wrong, but I fear this will be true…

      • Some other Anonymous says:

        And all of this started during the global recession… or maybe you think its coincidence?  A large number of work permit losses were to be expected, as unemployment rates have risen likewise around the world.  Don’t think I’m some sort of anti-expat boogey man for mentioning this.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is time for us to stop blaming our woes on the global economic recession. In case you haven’t noticed, the recession ended in 2009 in EVERY major country that Cayman does business with! In the US, officals declared the recession over in June 2009. Same story in Canada, UK, Germany, France and others, although the timing may be different. While economic growth in our trading partners is anemic at best, and the growth is not strong enough to result in any meaningful reduction in unemployment in the short term, the fact is, they have returned to growth.

      Here in Cayman, we are into our third year of economic contraction, with no end in sight. this leads me to conclude that our continuing economic woes are of our own making and not the world. Until we acknowledge this and stop the constant bickering and backbiting amongst ourselves, nothing will change and we will continue on this path that will only lead to our self destruction.

      In my mind, it is time for us to put partisanship aside and work together to support the government in its efforts to restore Cayman to its once prosperous ways. What have we got to lose? At worse, the government’s efforts could fail and we will be no further ahead. At best, they could succeed and the country benefits as a whole. However, we won’t know unless we are bold enough to support our government and let them get on with the job instead of constantly criticising. There is far too much at stake here. The good ship Cayman is foundering badly. We must act now, and we must act decisively to right the ship.

      • Anonymous says:

        12:56 Obviously you were not listening to world economic news. Did you not heard about the double dip recession? Did you not heard that growth in the US economy might not be seen till about the second quarter of 2011? This is why the Democratic Party got booted in the House of Representative and Republicans made a gain in the US Senate in the just concluded mid term election.  The US President will have to make a compromise with the Republicans on some of his stated policies and the popularity of President Obama has taken a "nose-dive. In the UK, the Prime Minister is in the process of making the most significant cuts in many welfare services to cut Government expenses. There also many other European countries who are struggling in an "economic bind" and are making similar cuts. The problems in Spain and Portugal and Greece still remain, and so is Iceland which was almost bankrupt. These latter countries are working on programmes to "pull themselves by their economic boot-straps". I don’t know how you could conclude that the recession is over. You must be listening to a different world news from many people. Go back and check again my friend, Ithink you are mistaken. As much as I want us to succeed, the fact is we have a far way to go and Cayman is a part of the worldwide picture and cannot be viewed in isolation.

      • Ray says:

        "In case you haven’t noticed, the recession ended in 2009 in EVERY major country that Cayman does business with! In the US, officals declared the recession over in June 2009."

        Really? Then please let the US Fed. know as in the last couple of days they initiated a programme (to cost $600M) to try to keep what little recovery there has been from dying. Check the latest UK budget cost cutting messages. Etc. Etc. Etc.

        I would suggest that we need to keep our spending prudent as it will likely be quite some time before our heads get above the waves. I do agree that we need to work together but not without due consideration.

      • Pauly Cicero says:

        The US is not out of the recession yet, just bumping along the bottom.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman’s troubles have a number of sources. The Global recession is (and continues to be) one of them. Another is the various international initiatives ranged against us which has led to the transfer of business elsewhere.  

        The global recession is not over. I know that the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research has declared is that the recession ended in 2009 in the U.S. but this does not match with the experience of the average U.S. resident or business. The reality is that unemployement is still around 10%, the poverty rate is up to 14.3% and the number of home foreclosures has reached new highs. In that climate do you expect that many will travel to the Cayman Islands for a vacation or if they do that they will spend liberally? 

        Canada is in better shape but there are still 373,000 more Canadians unemployed today than two years ago.

        There are signs of recovery, but people are cautious. In the same way as the onset of the global recession was not immediately felt by us so we can expect with its ending.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The chair of the Immigration Review Team (IRT) has said that the planned changes to how work permits are granted will improve for both Caymanians and employers when they are implemented. Sherri Bodden Cowan told a recent meeting of the YUDP……

    http://centos6-httpd22-php56-mysql55.installer.magneticone.com/o_belozerov/31115drupal622/headline-news/2010/03/22/irt-boss-vows-better-system

    That was more than six months ago. The chair of the IRT is some highfalutin member of the UDP and ALL of the members of the Immigration Board were approved by Big Mac himself, so who is to blame? Is this part of the mess the PPM left the country in?

  22. ummm says:

    Changing the composition of the board? Putting on a new set of "YES" people ? Whats wrong is the current board demonstrating too much intelligence? I would not want to be one of the new appointees because we already know what kind of people they will be! 

    Spineless, uneducated, wimps who fear the not so Big MAC, who will follow his directions without question. I hope the next 2 years move by really fast! I cannot wait to cast my vote next election. And I hope the PPM arent getting any bright ideas becaus they are the opposite side of the spectrum and about as effective as an inert gas.

    I will be voting for the individuals who are honest, at this point thats my only criterion – I am on a quest to find an honest politicial.

    • Anonymous says:

      An honest politician with perhaps a little intelligence and education might help.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Board members on all government boards and statutory authorities are obliged to follow the law. Maybe that does not work for some politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then there would be no need for an Appeals Tribunal. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Silly. That is like saying the Grand Court is obliged to follow the law so there is no need for an Appeal Court or Privy Council.

  24. Trueblood says:

     

    Well something needs to be done about the [people] that make these decisions to grant work permits. They are not thorough in the least and do not have the best interest of the Caymanian people in mind. Example: I know of someone who specifically went to DER and made a complaint that a small business place she was working had hired an accountant to pose as a worker in a lesser capacity to avoid paying the work permit fee for an accountant. (This is one example of many out there) As it turns out the persons work permit was approved and with a waiver from DER?????? This is absurd and proves only one thing “OUR IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT AS WELL AS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT REALTIONS ARE TOTALLY INCOMPITENT!!! I’m not anti expat but I just don’t understand the need to have so many of them doing jobs that are completely trainable for Caymanians to do. I know they are needed for various positions but it looks like Immigration will approve work permits for bank tellers these days. Immigration needs to pay close attention to the salaries and job descriptions for work permit applicants. Try to use those pea brains you have and see through the garbage on the applications. I swear if I had the power I would get fire 90% of both Immigration and DER as they serve no purpose. I have zero faith in the system here for me and my Caymanian people. My goal is to migrate in the next few years. That infamous line “Caymanians don’t want to work or only want certain jobs” is applicable to a very small percentage of those unemployed.
    • anonymous says:

      You want to migrate? Then come to my country – England. You will be welcomed, you can claim benefits, you won’t need a work permit and you won’t be kicked out after 7 years. You can put your kids into state schools for free (can you actually get your brain around that one). Quite different to how you treat British people in your racist country. XXXX

       

      • Trueblood says:

        You can’t make comparisons between England and Cayman. We are way too tiny of an island to just welcome every nationality in to stay as long as they feel like and bring along whoever. England is not on my list as a choice of places to migrate. I could have easily gotten my UK passport ages ago and haven’t for the same reason…no desire or interest in living in England. For the record – I do believe if any nationality should be given a level of preferential treatment in Cayman it should be British nationals as we are a dependent territory. JMO.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sure you can,they are both delusional. One thinks its still an empire. The other thinks its still a viable offshore centre. Asia baby.

        • Anonymous says:

          dont waste your time arguing with this joker, he/she knows better they are just trying to get under your skin.

           

        • My2cents says:

          Agreed.

      • Anonymous says:

        The UK’s system is not that same as Cayman’s but that does not mean it is problem free.

        There’s no free lunch.You "forgot" to that we will have to pay ~40% tax to get these benefits.

        Evidence shows that there is little incentive for native Caymanians to emigrate to England.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          The standard tax rate in the UK is 20%.  You wouldn’t pay 40% unless you earned over £37,400, and believe me, most jobs pay much less unless you have extensive qualifications and experience in a particular field.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hm -I believe that the 40% income tax I will have to pay pays in turn for my children’s schooling over there, so it is not "free".

        If your "home country" is so great, why are you here?

         

        • Florence Goring-Nozza says:

           

          Dear Commissioner Mr. Baines

          Commissioner Baines you recently expressed that you are seeking feedback from the community.

          As the Cayman Island’s Top Cop are you not very concerned that the troubles of the RCIP is about to double if the premier has his way with this new  and insane immigration proposal if introduced that will break down the national security of our boarders ?

          How can you as the RCIP Commissioner sit comfortable with such a dangling proposal for new immigration policy set by the Cayman Islands Premier?

          I am not at all convinced that the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories would approve of such an irresponsible and dangerous policy. I’m also certain they were Not consulted as it would NEVER be approved, since such a dangerous immigration policy could carry serious national and international security consequences and break down the UK relations with the United States who would in turn certainly call out the UK on such irresponsible actions.

          As the whole western hemisphere is living out  the memory of a post 911 attack on democracy where thousands of innocent victims were hurled to their death in September 11, 2001, We who remain sober, vigilant, and responsible citizens  and as a British territory and ally of the United States have a duty to keep our national boarders SECURE.

           Countering terrorism has become, obviously  the top national security priority for the United States and Great Britain as they receive threats from time to time.

          It is time for the Cayman Islands Premier and our RCIP  to reflect and reevaluate the hasty decisions that are being made that could very well make International headline news.. We cannot afford to discard the safe guarded programs and sound policies of our local immigration and work permit agencies, as there is a dire need to maintain our national security as a responsible UK territory.
          The Premier’s ambition to bring business from China and other countries iswarranted some consideration and accommodation. 

          However, the premier needs to redefine his new immigration policy to be proposed inviting Investment to these islands as it calls for a more comprehensive and sound plan of action. The premier’s effort should redefine the Tourist Investor’s relationships with government,  working through the processes of not only the Cayman Islands but also the American republic, as we have a great percentage of Americans as visiting tourists,  Investing, and also living in the Cayman Islands.

          Our Premier is to be reminded that in this sense, 911 has taught us all a hard lesson that the attempts and acts of terrorism against Americans interests "over there in the United States" should be regarded just as we regard terrorism against America "over here in the Cayman Islands." In this same sense, the Cayman Islands is a part of the planet and should act out of a sense of national and international security and responsiblity.

          The rules of engagement to keep our country safe  is not to offer Investment Tourists a reckless Free Pass under the radar as the Premier is proposing, this would put way too many people at risk..

          The Premier seems to have a draft proposal for a new  immigration policy that will allow Investment Tourists to  walk off the plane into our island  under the ‘GUISE" of doing ligitimate business. It is rumored that Lap tops  etc will not be confiscated by customs for inspection  which is standrd procedure for every other traveling passenger or visitor ! regardless of who they are they get a FREE PASS of "NO INSPECTION"  that’s a little too desperate for dollars don’t you think?  And very dangerous.

          Conspiracy theory suggest :

            WITH SUCH A DANGLING POLICY PROPOSED  THE LOCAL COMMUNITY  COULD PAY A HIGH PRICE  ONLY TO FIND OUT  LATER AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT THE LAP TOPS THOUGHT TO CONTAIN BUSINESS CONTRACTS ETC, ARE IN FACT ARE LADEN WITH; CRACK COCAINE AND OTHER HARD DRUGS INCLUDING MARIJUANA, AND POSSIBLY FIRE ARMS! OR EVEN WEAPONS  OF TERROR! I’m open for correction but I understand that To make our boarders even more insecure, the new immigration proposed policy allows these travelers to land on our shores without even  being   (I’m curious about how  and if the Lap tops will be inspected upon boarding a flight to the united States!)

          Commissioner Baines what do you have to say about this did you also give big Mac this DUMB IDEA OF  allowing possible criminals to come off the plane on an International flight  landing in the Cayman Islands posing as investors and allowing them this undeserved concession?

          DO YOU REALIZE THAT THIS IS ALL THE MEXICAN DRUG LORDS NEED TO HEAR, THIS WOULD TURN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS INTO A HAVEN FOR THE MOST DANGEROUS INTERNATIONAL CARTEL CRIMINALS? and there goes our tourism product flushed down the toilet.

          I am very concerned. This is intended to get the attention of the UK Minister for the Cayman Islands a British Territory.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really??? ohh boy cant wait to get on the plane. Yep they are gonna roll out the red carpet for a lil ol West Indian bwoy like me ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Really? But who wants to migrate to England!

        • Anonymous says:

          the facts point to a hell of a lot more people wanting to immigrate to England than to cayman! 

      • Anonymous says:

        Get over it!

    • noname says:

      I would suggest you back-track on your rant about the boards, I say this because I participate on one of these boards. The Boards haveds identified many gaps in the immigration system and these have been remedied and everyday we continue to give 100% service.

      I am sure the good folks in the portfolio of external and internal affairs Mr. Manderson, CIO Evans, etc will agree these boards are some of the best boards in Cayman’s History, remember it’s only been 14 months since we got appointed and the impact we’ve had doesn’t has alot of value, I hope when the premiere get’s rid us, he sure has good reasons, becuase it’s not lack of getting things done, I think quality  not quantity.

      We enforce the “law” and don’t spin it & misinterpret it like the good old premiere. I feel good with solid contributions I have made, so Mr. premiere just go right ahead.

       

      • Trueblood says:

        As competent as you think the board you’re on maybe…..I have to disagree. I listed one of many examples of people beating the Immigration system; as in the case where the Gov’t got robbed of the appropriate fees due because of dishonesty regarding the WP applicant’s job description/title. If the review process of the applications were being done efficiently instances such as this would not go unnoticed. If closer attention was paid to the applications and thoroughly analyzed this would not slip through the cracks or maybe kisses go by favors? DER is clearly of zero assistance…it’s like blind leading the blind. This is my opinion and I’m sticking to it…..no back tracking here.

  25. Anonymous says:

    My My Who step on Uncle Mac Toes now dont you guys know better than doing that shame on una .

  26. MER says:

    One of the best proposal’s since re-election!

  27. The Original Anon says:

    Is it just me or does it seem like Mac is dancing as fast as he can this week?

  28. Peter Davey says:

    At Last! This is music to my ears! The damage done to Cayman over the years, caused by some aspects of the Immigration policy and the manner of its  implementation, has been incalculable. I know many company representatives who stopped coming to Cayman  because of the sheer hassle and level of red tape that confronted  them at Immigration. Each person who decides not to return is another ticket lost by Cayman Airways, and so on down the spending line. If this new approach can be implemented effectively, then it will be significantin helping Cayman’s economy. And yes, Mr Bush is correct in saying that this should have been addressed years ago. The "good guys" should be welcomed with open arms. First impressions at the airport can last a very long time. The incumbents must not  let this idea fizzle like so many others. We will gain so much and lose nothing.

    • anonymous says:

      How dare you write something positive about Mckeewa and this gurment. Its just not on old boy.  you are spoiling our fun.

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Bush has been in govt. for many years with the exception of the past four years term when the PPM were in power.  Why didn’t he do something about it then?  Sorry to go back to the same old story but if his Govt. had not thrown away all those status grants and done the job properly vetting the applicants properly, we would not be having some of the problems we have now. Even the British Govt. did not expect them to give out status grants the same way as you would give free candy away at pirates week.

  29. Anonymous says:

    So you if you are elected to a board and you don’t do how he thinks it should be done you are gone?

    How much longer are people going to sit back and watch this dictatorship being rolled out?

    • My2cents says:

      Come on…..we all know serious changes need to be made to immigration.

      It is not the only problem Cayman has, but it is one of them.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is, by far, the biggest problem. It affects the business community, the social harmony of the islands, human rights (or lack thereof) and even the stability of the island. Does anyone think there is a sense of security here anymore? Does the future look bright?

      • Anonymous says:

        Duh – changes have to be made to the immigration policies and THEN people on the boards can act and decide accordingly.

        You can’t kick people off the board for following the law! Why bother to have a board in the first instance?

        What bugs me is the constant underlying threat of "if you don’t do as I say, I will deal with you………"

  30. Anonymous says:

    I hope another change is for the appeal process.  There are so many people out there that have been refused a permit and have been working under the lenghty appeal process for years – yes YEARS.  It is not fair to these people to make them wait this amount of time and put their lives on hold XXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually the appeals process is abused by many who know that they have no prospects of success on appeal but appeal precisely because it enables them to work until the matter is heard and decided upon. Their lives are not "on hold"; they are buying time. It is these persons who clog the system and therefore hold up legitimate appeals unfairly and keep Caymanians out of a job. What to do. Awarding costs against them for having a frivolous appeal won’t help as they may no longer be around to pay the costs having lost the appeal. 

      There are two sides to this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Interesting point. If its an appeal, to buy time, then the Board acted appropriately but the Tribunal can’t process the matter on a timely basis. This delay is in contravention of natural justice. Justice delayed is justice denied. Its the end of 2010 and they are still on 2007 cases. Why can’t the Tribunal sift through the bogus appeals and deal with them easily? Perhaps favors? However, if its a legitimate appeal its because the Board acted inappropriately (illegally) in the first place. These people’s lives most certainly have been put on hold – for years. Of course the critic is going to say there are two legitimate appeals for every 8 buyers of time. But, given the cost of appealing (anywhere from $20,000.00 to $200,000.00) I’m pretty sure a significant number of appeals are legitimate showing the level of corruption on the Boards. But, one shouldn’t assume, corruption stops at the Board level. Blood is thicker than water. In Cayman its not a Tribunal, but more accurately described as a Tribe-unal. Its a clear sign the system is broken. Indeed, one will only find justice in the Courts. Its only a matter of time (and money).

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes there are two sides to this and I am talking from the side of people who’s lives have been put on hold until a decision is made by a dicrepit system.  Like it ornot the appeals process is there as it should be in any democratic country.  The only people ‘clogging’ up the system are the people running it.  An appeal should only take a matter of months not years!

      • Anonymous says:

        Just hope that some good Business people and  successful folks also  not jealous  members are selected. People use their positions and this is the biggest complaints that we have. Also there are staff that dont have good judgement either. Every application is different and what suits you do not suit me. Being able to identify good people can only be done by certain people. Members should not  rubber stamp applications, and when  agendas are being made up they should be done by two or three people who knows the Community. Boards and staff like wise should not be made up of vindictive people, and it should not be a friend thing either. I am made to understand that Board Members can be sued, would like to know if that is true and if so I am certain that the Public dosent know about it. Please let us work together for the betterment of our Country.