No backdoors to status

| 26/09/2011

(CNS): Workers who take up government’s rollover reprieve over the next two years will not be able to count that time in a permanent residency application, according to Sherri Bodden-Cowan, chair of the team of immigration experts tasked by the premier to give the Immigration Law a full review. The rollover suspension will not impact any other area of immigration law currently in operation, nor will it mean that all 5,686 individuals who may have been rolled over between now and 2013 will get to remain on Island or move to permanent residency and status. Bodden-Cowan has warned of a rigorous procedure where only the most needed workers will remain.

She told CNS that if someone is at their seven year term limit they will be allowed to apply for up to two year’s extension, which will allow them to continue to work, but this will not entitle them to count that time in a PR application.

According to the European Convention on Nationality (to which the UK is a participant), individuals who have been legally resident in a country for ten years should have the opportunity to become naturalised citizens of that country. Consequently, fears have arisen in the local community that thousands of people, if they take up the opportunity to apply for another permit after their seven years are up, will be eligible to apply for PR and ultimately status as a resultof the suspension of the rollover policy, expected to come into effect in the next few weeks.

Ensuring that the extra two years does not count towards an individual’s permanent residency application was an important factor when deciding how to implement the rollover suspension, Bodden-Cowan explained.

“One of the challenges we face is that people are saying that this move is just a back door to granting Caymanian status,” she said. “Status can only be granted if someone has been resident for 15 years, and naturalised for five years. Giving someone a two year extension from year seven to year nine gets them nowhere near the criteria they would need for Caymanian status. The most that it could do is make them eligible to apply for permanent residency under the points system, if the fact that the law says it shouldn’t count is challenged.”

Bodden-Cowan said it was extremely irresponsible for anyone to suggest that this is a backdoor grant for status. Confirming that extensions for individuals approaching their term limit would only be granted to employers who demonstrate a genuine need for the worker, she added that employers will need to show that they have pursued every other possible avenue in their economic power given the size of their business to train, promote and replace that employee with a Caymanian.

The boards will have to be very careful to justify the need for employers to continue to employ such a person, she explained.

Even so, the extension period does not prevent any employer from applying for the position of key for any employee. And if that request is turned down by the board, the employer can reapply every three months.

Category: Politics

Comments (74)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wake up Cayman!!!!

    Be honest. What is the purpose of this extension of roll over?

    Are you saying that you could not replace or find a local to do the job of an expat when the unemployment is at 7% or more? What good is the two year extension when you have to do the same in another two years time. Be realistic and be honest to people of Cayman or to yourself!

    Are you afraid that if you dont extend it for another two years large number of workers going to leave and Cayman is going to struggle. We are already in trouble and how worse it could get?

    You already have a sytem that is working "Key Employee". So you choose the best or most needed and grant them Key Employee Status by which they are going to become permanent resident and will invest in Cayman (create jobs and help the growth).

    Now by extending the roll over for another two years without giving them the permanancy, you are telling them to save more and be ready to leave in two years time. So nothing is spent here and no real benefit to the Cayman Islands. This will only extend the hardship of Caymanians for another two years before you can find a job – provided they dont extend it for another two years in 2013.

    So please explain to me who is going to benefit out of this extension – Caymanians or Expats?

    Be realistic and either stick with your Key Employee Policy or start giving some permanancy to  expats and make them spend in the local economy.

    We are following a contrarian economic policy which is not going to help either the Caymanians nor the Cayman Islands.  

  2. Backdoor Bob says:

    Cayman has always been averse to backdoor entry. At least in public.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's because its illegal and doesn't exit. Which begs the question, if it doesn't exist, why is it illegal? 

  3. Profound Reality! says:

    Let them stay, work, enjoy the fun in the sun.

    The real problem has been our own immigration department and education system, allowing permits to employeers for positions that can be easily filled with the local work force and the lack of an on island facility to further and inspire a career outside of banking!

    Advice to the Expat: Appreciate your time here,get to know the Island, the people and for gods sake smile more :-0 You may find some quality friends amongst the brown people.

    Advice to the Local: Educate yourselves(im an entry level govt worker making close to nothing yet im paying my way through school, feeding myself, not living in my mamma house and even  have a few dimes to spend when im up for a good time) , dont be envious…yes yes some expats come and live on the beach, drive the fancy car and have the dollaz to spend however when you focus on envy you ignore your own qualities andgifts.

    Advice to Government: When we elected you, we all (white and brown face) expected to be treated fairly. Remember everything you do should be for the good of the island, when your weakest link is strong your chain is strong!

    Lets not allow the curse of greed, segragation and class divide and destroy us.

     If this ship sinks we all are going to miss the good times!





  4. squared says:

    After 7,8,9 years isn't doesn't this become a human rights issue?

    • Anonymous says:

      Excuse me!  My friend after 7.8.9 yrs is not harsh enough, maybe they should extend it to 14.15.18yrs this is how long the Immigrants now has to wait to get their status in America!   Now that's what you call a human rights issue…law is the law we just have to respect them!

    • Anonymous says:

      Only in first world countries.

    • Anonymous says:

      Human rights? Whats that? 

    • Anonymous says:

      After 10 years.

  5. Anonymous says:


    When this was proposed, I thought it was a greatidea. I thought those who have invested in Cayman and made this wonderful place their home would then possibly qualify for PR. What is so wrong with that?

    Cayman, we either have to cut the civil service in half or allow our population to grow….it is that simple!

    Lets not mention our crime rate.


  6. Anonymous says:

    who cares?….this place is doomed…give it a couple of years and they will be paying expats to stay here………

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats exactly what is going to happen.  but I think it will take more time then a few years before all the money runs out.  Unless God sends another Hurrican lesson.  It appears Caymanians need to learn the hard way that they can lose control over the country of Cayman by default. You can no longer "own" what you can no longer pay for.   It has happened to many other countries for all the same reasons and its happening here.  Soon come.  Come on  "New Cayman"!

  7. Loopy Lou says:

    I am attending so many "farewell" parties for long term workers here that I don't think will be an issue for much longer – if you listen carefully you can hear the sound of Cayman's economy going down the toilet.

    • BORN FREE says:

      Mrs. Bodden-Cowan is so correct when she says "no backdoors to status" because, knowing the UDP as well as we do, it will be "wide open frontdoors to status"! Anything for a vote is the UDP moto! No one will have to go through backdoors, they will simply walk through the frontdoor (in the thousands, but will it be legal?).

  8. Whodatis says:

    I fail to see the outrage that constantly surrounds the rollover issue.

    Every single expat living in the Cayman Islands today was FULLY AWARE of their situation as they filled out the paperwork for a work permit … what now is the flipping problem?

    Hundreds of millions of people face this every flipping day in this world!

    Do any of you know how difficult it is to obtain citizenship in your own countries?! Do you honestly believe that the visible, surface-level laws are the long and short of the immigration process in your homelands? If so please think again.

    We are a tiny country that clearly is already struggling to maintain the most basic formula for a stable society – which was once second-nature to us before the 'boom' might I add.

    It is not our job to save (all) your souls simply because your countries have failed to remain attractive to its own people.

    * And yet so many of our expats have the nerve to bad-mouth every living thing about Cayman. What a confused bunch of individuals.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps if they didn't change the rules every other day we my not be so confused.  In the 6 years I have been here, the law has been changed 3 times……….

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for posting this. Its a perspective probably overlooked by many of us longer-term residents.

  9. Patrick Schmid says:

    This most unfortunately, a complete mis-statement of the law as it relates to the current International,  European, British and Caymanian position on Immigration policy and practice!

    It further defies the basis on which the new Immigration Law  and the concomitant Regulations thereunder were brought in.

    It defi

    It is quite sad to be witnessing this type of confoundment of an already  thgoroughly confusing situation!

    More to follow…..


    Patrick G. Schmid


  10. Anonymous says:

    "…extensions for individuals approaching their term limit would only be granted to employers who demonstrate a genuine need for the worker, she added that employers will need to show that they have pursued every other possible avenue in their economic power given the size of their business to train, promote and replace that employee with a Caymanian."

    Why does this leave a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth?  I mean excuse me, but whilst they can teach me various aspects of the job, I don't believe my employer is trained or qualified to teach anyone what I learnt at University and/or college… but I do believe that's why the government should be putting in sensible vocational colleges instead of expecting employers to do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are not smart enough to understand this concept.  And they are too proud to admit it.  So it goes.   Immigration Cayman style.  With the expected results.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that this issue is now at the forefront. However this is typical behaviour of this government, act then think about repercussions/consequences afterwards.

    God help us.


    • Anonymous says:

      Are civil servants being rolled over or are they hiring expats sheltering from the roll over?

    • Common Sense says:

      Let’s use a little common sense here. We have seen the majority of the large firms (legal, banks, Trust and others) go through a process of reducing their staff either by layoffs or simply not renewing contracts and permits. 
      None of these "redundancies" were due to the rollover policy and were clearly attributed to the global economic crisis and were considered necessary in order to reduce operating costs. If the rollover was having such a devastating impact on these businesses why did they layoff employees?
      Secondly, lets also apply common sense to the current unemployment which was pegged at 7% in May. If 7% of our work force is unemployed that suggests that there is more labor available to do the work than there is work to be done. (again simple common sense). This means that suspending the rollover will have no real impact on unemployment, volume of business and revenues in the short or long run. 
      The real fix for unemployment would be to increase the demand for our good/services, how do we do this ? Reduce the price! It is simple economics folks. Reduce the price of tourism, legal services, banking, apartments, land, etc and demand for these things will go up, requiring additional labor and resources to meet the demand, and the overall effect will be a reduction in unemployment, and increased revenues.
      This recent move to abolish the rollover is therefore motivated by something else, and perhaps the UDP Government have somehow been convinced that this is a good idea by some "advisor" who is motivated to ensure that the people of these islands not only lose their economic position but are also weakened politically as well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, and then more people are being paid less from a smaller pot, which is hardly fair on those who are already employable.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I don't like to frighten the locals but Article 8 of the Convention is far more worrying for the locals who want all us Furriners out.  See a Jersey Gillow v UK 9/12/1982 (ECHR).

    Sherri Bodden-Cowan is obviously not very familiar with European Jurisprudence!

  13. The lone Haranguer says:

    We just make up the rules as we go along.

  14. Anonymous says:

    are you serious?

    please explain why people that should have left over 5 years ago are still waiting on their appeal to be heard, because no one wants to make a decision.

    if this decision were not so detrimental to these Islands it , would be laughable.


    • Anonymous says:

      The Appeals Tribunal is filled with non-attorneys who don't know procedure, natural justice, much less law. Many are their to carry out favors for friends. Anyone who has ever been in a meeting knows their major competition is the blackberry messages going out and coming in. Decisions are made in advance, sides taken, and then they argue amongst themselves. More phone calls made etc. If two persons applied under the old law, depending on the applicant, the old (proper) law will be used for one and the new law for the other. Laws, procedure, justice, human rights – who has time for such trivial things? This board should consist of three attorneys. Everyone else needs to go. But that means less opportunity to carry out "local justice".


      • Head in the .. says:

        That would not be the "Caymanian way'  Bobo.  Get real.  When Cayman stops wanting to be a third world country maybe.  Who needs education when you have the power?

        • Anonymous says:

          No, that would not be the "Caymanian way". There have been boards and tribunals which operated according to the rule of law and would not toleratewhat has been described here.  

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wait a while, let the whole place collapse, and Cayman will be handing out PR and cash move-in bonuses just to get people to come here and conduct anything resembling economic activity. Oh, those things and bullet-proof jackets too. Let’s no forget those.

    Seriously, though… This is just more of the uncertainly and lack of reliability that makes expats see Cayman as unsafe to commit to. Cayman can’t even commit to a coherent and consistent set of laws, regulations and policies inside the government, let alone provide comfort to professionals that they can find stability in trying to build a life here.

    And Mac, as to your conspiracy – as George Bush Senior told Saddam Hussein: “The good news is that you’re not paranoid. The bad news is that the whole world really is out to get you.” Mwa haa haa haa haaaaaa…

  16. Jackson5 says:

    Hopefully this will stop the scare mongers and misinformed from sprouting their lies. Thank you for the clarification Sherri. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    QUOTED "Confirming that extensions for individuals approaching their term limit would only be granted to employers who demonstrate a genuine need for the worker, she added that employers will need to show that they have pursued every other possible avenue in their economic power given the size of their business to train, promote and replace that employee with a Caymanian"

    Please state how the board goes about deciding that the employee is a genuine needed worker.?

    What has to be presented, and will it be required to be an originaland signed by a JP or other form of authenticity. Will the 7 day advertising be extended also to allow all Caymanian to apply. 

    On another point , I have noticed there is a upward trend in the field of line cook or pastry applications and hardly see any bartender, server (front house positions) or female positions only. With this new law Mr Adams has introduced is this bias to males seeking employment?

    Are Immigration actually checking to see that when these line cook or kitchen positions are approved that these people are actually working in that position?

    Another problem is that after positions and interviews are done the manager or owner goes on vacation and we are then told when they return a decision will be made. By that time a permit has been submitted and approved by the return from VC and the Caymanian is never even contacted. I have personally experienced this 3 times in the last 6 months. 


  18. Anonymous says: the rollover is being extended for 2 years only so that those 5,686 expats can remain on the islands so that 5,686 additional apartments do not get added to the list of already vacant 2,200 apartments!!!  So, the expats are just being 'used' to stimulate the economy for another 2 years …and will then be kicked in the butt.  How smart!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    What is the issue here? 

    An expat comes and works here. The government receives a yearly work permit fee. They stay 7, 10, 15 years – doesn't that mean that they want to stay here and have been good citizens?

    When applying for PR and Status you need to meet certain criteria, which includes investment into the islands. That surely is the final 'qualifier' as to whether or not you get PR or Status.

    If you've been here for 10 years and don't meet the investment criteria you should have a choice – stay on a permit or go. Seems simple to me!

    People who choose to send their money home and not invest here will not qualify. Those who save and invest hopefully will.

    I don't see what all the fuss is about….

    • Shock and Awe says:

      When applying for PR and Status you need to meet certain criteria, which includes investment into the islands. That surely is the final 'qualifier' as to whether or not you get PR or Status.

      13:27:  Isn't that rather like playing poker? Picture it. You try to decide whether to make a long term investment in Cayman. A home for example. You know you'd like to if that indeed is a qualifier what you don't know is whether you might be rolled over. How do you base your decision? Gamble? 

    • Anonymous says:

      No, there would be no gamble.

      I would like to see that the roll-over is eliminated, thus allowing anyone to come to the island.They will of course still need a work permit.

      The work permit only grants you the right to work here from one year to the next. There  should be an option to get an extended to 2-3 year work permit – for a higher fee of course. The work permit should clearly state that no residency or citizenship rights are attached or accrued by them. Only PR or Status will give you these rights. Also that PR and Status is only available after being on island for 5 years. That's enough time to ensure the person is of good standing and also to really make sure you want to settle in Cayman.

      To encourage investment into the islands the opportunity to obtain PR or Status and thus no more Work Permit fees, s Cayman Passport etc., should be tied to an investment based criteria calculation, plus the usual police clearance, income statement and qualifications etc. (the points system).

      For the people that choose not to invest and stay on a permit I would recommend that CIG increase the work permit fees after a certain period of time, say after 3-4 years.

      At the end of the day the objective is to encourage inward investment into Cayman. To have the money earned here – spent here. CIG can still enjoy the financial receipts from work permit fees and offer a clear progression policy to those who choose to stay and invest and an escalting work permit fee structure to those who choose to work and send money abroad. Stay as long as you like! It's just going to cost a bit more.


  20. Anonymous says:

    What absolute nonsense.  Bush just makes this stuff up on the fly.  This government is totally devoid of joined up policies.  It's just one fire fight after the next.

  21. On the Fence says:

    So, you will take the Expat's money to prop up the local mortgages of the sagging rental market, and then kick them out the door when your done – without even a thankyou for sticking around and giving the Caymanians a financial hand?

    I guess you can have your cake and eat it!

    • Anonymous says:

      So short answer is yes. The long answer is Cayman has been doing this to expats for 40 years. Its only with the FOI law that victimized expats have a fighting chance against those who unethically and illegally abuse the system. I say a fighting chance because no Caymanian has ever been found guilty of libel or defamation – yet it occurs every day. Once the expat threatens the use of the Grand Court – the issue gets thrown under the rug. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Many Caymanians have been victimised by expats for the past 40 years and still going on so don't even go there.  You all have an entitlement mentality!

        • Anonymous says:

          Cry me a river. I know these victims very well. They drive fancy cars, live in nice homes, wear fine jewelry and travel. And EVERY DAY they claim they "in fear of their jobs", "looked over for promotion", "threatened to be fired". They are victims in their own minds because despite have little to no education past high school, they have achieved tremendous success because of the business outsiders and the group below have brought here.

          The above group is very different to the higher educated Caymanians who not only seriously contribute to the success of these islands, but are quicker to integrate and who's values don't allow them to abuse the system for personal benefit.

          Which one are you?

        • Anonymous says:

          What would you be doing if expats didn't come here to set up businesses?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Come to the Cayman Islands, help dig us out the hole that we now find ourselves in, please help protect us from ourselves…but don't expect anything from us especially when it comes to immigration status, we don't want you dirty expats! Oh ya, stay away from my daughter while you're at it!

    • Anonymous says:

      No expat comes here to help Caymanians.  You came here for the money so you could dig yourself out of your dirty mess thus helping yourself.  Who do you think you're kidding?

      • Anonymous says:

        Not everyone who was not born here, but has come to work here, comes from a "dirty mess".  But many have, once they are here, done what they could to help others in this community.  You are a hateful little shit.

      • Patricia X says:

        I think I have been consistent and honest all along that that is why I came here.  Can't think of any other reason anyone would come here.

      • Mamau says:

        Is that why when you go to a charity day, 90% of the people who turn up are expat? 

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, all paid for by their respective companies and firms who would prefer to send them along to the Cancer Benefit rather than a Caymanian employee.

          Also, expat wives often do not need to work because their spouses are so well paid. They have the time to spend with the Pink Ladies etc. Caymanians meanwhile are struggling to make ends meet.

  23. Anonymous says:

    clear as mud!

  24. Dare to Dream says:

    These "experts are the same "experts" who created the mess that they claimed the roll-over is causing.  They were out on TV, Radio, Newspapers singing their own praises when roll-over were created.  I wish we could get some truth and honesty on these subjects instead of the same old recycled rubbish.

  25. Anonymous says:

    So, those who are to be rolled over might in any case be kicked out after further 2 years.  So why waste further precious 2 years on these islands?  We would rather move out NOW to our own country or to a place which will welcome me and my family to settle down there….and mind you, there are many such places in this world…Cayman does not have a monopoly in this area.

  26. south Sounder says:

    Please also remind me what is the point of all of this?…is it to give immigration 2 years to catch up?   

  27. Anonymous says:

    Why does Cayman quote the European Convention's 10 years for naturalization? According to the most recent Cayman laws, one has to first have residency for 5 years and / or lived in the country 15 years to apply for naturalization. So one is looking at anywhere from 12 to 15 years – assuming the boards are up to date.



    • Anonymous says:

      Ask even the highest ranking Immigration this question and he / she cannot look you in the eye. 

  28. Anonymous says:

    There's not much incentive for me (nor am I able) to stay in Cayman in the long term then is there?

    Keep the foreigners out! No jews. Aryan Supremecy. No infidels. There's not much difference between these zenophobes and Cayman attitudes really, are there?

    We'll have those British passports back then, if there's a lack of equity between Cayman and the UK's policies. Caymanians need do nothing to obtain UK passports – other than be born, never mind live in and contribute to a country for 15 years – whilst Caymanians want to withhold citizenship and other rights from people who have committed large parts of their lives to your country. Hypocritical and disgusting.

    Most of the best and brightest have already left. I am leaving in nine months. Most of my friends I made when I first arrived in Cayman and my "second wave" of friends have left – for the UK, Canada, America, Australia, Singapore, Ireland, Bermuda, New Zealand and many other places.

    Cayman has too little to offer me now.

    • Business101 says:

      Ditto – I am just sick of living in such a devisive country – I will be taking my family and business and relocating elsewhere. This means three more young Caymanians will be joing the ranks of the unemployed – but then again you reap whatyou sow. Bye now.

      • Anonymous says:


        • ? says:

          You should be begging these employers of Caymanians to stay. Morons!!

          • Anonymouse says:

            Not if they are so ungracious about that employment nor realise thatthey are half of the problem. (Now, if we could just get teh other half to leave so willingly.)

    • Truthseeker says:

      I agree with some of your points, but I think it unfair to make a big issue of British passports for Caymanians. Britain enacted this unilaterally in 2002, with an explicit lack of reciprocity (and only after they had disposed of the Hong Kong problem). If you have an issue with that, you should take it up with the British Government, not the Government or people of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      You selling your car?  I'm always after a bargain….

  29. Anonymous says:

    So as usual you get to stay and work only if you know "someone"

    Key employee status still will mean key to "someone" other than your employee.

    Roll over will still mean business as usual which is no hope for the future of any business.

    And the fact that most people working here in high paying jobs don't want Status, just want the work, and are planning on going "home"when they are done or looking to move up or gain more experiance all lose that opportunity due to the fear of "others".

    Why can't ANYONE figure out a way needed workers can stay as long as they are needed and not be looked on as a future burden to the Country? Can't someone draft a contract saying they will not ask for nor do they ever want status out of their job?This would in effect take out the excuse of roll over as a way to cleanse the island of undisirable qualified workers and make it easier for businesses to function.  Being here 10+ years does not atomatically get anyone status anyway.(Unless you know someone).  This problem that is killing businesses, driving away needed customers, and keeping jobs for Caymanian workers out of their hands should have a solution.  Unless what is already happening is Caymans solution to its anti expat culture.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Sherri's being disingenuous!  She's bound to know that it is not legally possible to claim that time spent lawfully in a country does not amount to "legal and ordinary residence".  Any legislation brought which purports to have that effect is likely to be given the boot by the courts here or at the European Court of Human Rights.  The likely result will be that thousands of persons who are now approaching rollover will qualify to apply for permanent residence.  But perhaps that is what Sherri and the UDP are seeking to achieve.  Perhaps that isindeed  their end-game.  If not, why are they complicating this issue and creating uncertainty and the possiblity of legal challenges in this way by suspending parts of the law?  This is bound to end badly, but then again that'll be at least 2 years hence.  The next election is only 19 months away so the UDP must figure it won't be their problem.

    It would be far simpler, clearer and certain to just amend the law along the lines that the Leader of the Opposition proposed back in June. Repeal the 7 year term limit and the "key employee" provisions.  Allow everyone to apply for permanent residence when they reach year 8.  Require that they must apply for PR by Year 10 if they want to stay permanently.  If they get PR, they're in. If they don't they are out.

  31. Anonymous says:

    So… if we're not here for the 2 years then where are we??

  32. Anonymouse says:

    Sheayah, Right. 7 years + 2 bonus + 'workign by virtue of law' while various applications have been or will be processed and, voila, you've hit 10 years, after whcih you "should have the opportunity to become naturalised citizens of that country" (according to the article).

  33. Anonymous says:

    22. (3) Any person who is a British Overseas Territories Citizen by reason of a certificate of naturalisation or registration issued under the British Nationality Act, 1981 by virtue of his connection with the Islands, or any Act preceding, amending or replacing that Act, may, if he has been legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for at least fifteen years or at least five years after the receipt of that grant, apply for the grant of the right to be Caymanian.

    Current rule is 15 years OR 5 years after Naturalisation, not necesarily both as you indicate above.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Of course, it makes sense to kick off the island all the foreign workers in the financial services industry after their 7 years & to prevent them from extending into the criteria for integrating into & contributing to Caymans society, for a longer term.


  35. Anonymous says:

    Don't you just love the UDP technocrats? You are here for two years but those two years cannot be counted, because well let's see…hmmmn.

    I think a much simpler solution is to declare that anyone who has been here during time that McKeeva has been in power has not really been in the Cayman Islands, so therefore that time cannot be counted.

  36. Anonymous says:

    That's right just let McKeeva take care of dishing out Status

  37. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Please reminder us who these immigration experts are?

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably the same people who gave out status before the 2005 election.