PPM:Focus needs to be on PR

| 28/09/2011

(CNS):The government doesn't need to introduce a temporary suspension to the rollover policy but needs to eliminate it right away and concentrate on addressing the permanent residency approval system in order to manage the country’s immigration issues, the leader of the opposition has said. Alden McLaughlin says that the suspension and planned review of the policy are unnecessarily opening up the system to challenges by creating uncertainty. He said that the PPM supports the repeal of the term limit policy and introducing a system that allows everyone who stays on island for eight years to apply for permanent residency and address that application process so the right people and the right numbers are given security of tenure.

“We should fix this issue now as it’s not complicated,” McLaughlin told CNS, adding that the focus had to be on amending the permanent residency application process. “We need to amend the PR provisions so anyone who has been here for eight years can apply through a clear point system that provides a balance where the bar is not too high that no one gets through or too low that everyone does.”

He also stated that anyone who stayed up to ten years would be mandated to make a PR application.

McLaughlin explained that the PR process needed to become the point where the country can decide who gets to stay, ensuring that those who remain in the Cayman Islands, with the possibility of gaining status, will be in a position not only to make a positive contribution to Cayman society and the economy but to take care of themselves and not become a burden on the state in later life.

Offering his support to a complete repeal of the rollover policy and key employee to remove any uncertainty and in favour of addressing the permanent residency application process, McLaughlin added that it could no longer be administered by a voluntary board. He said if the points system was clear, an applicant either scored enough points to be granted residency or not, and there would be no need for subjectivity. The boards should not be making the decisions but only serving as a tribunal to hear appeals or dealing with unique cases. He recommended moving the system to an administrative process and beginning that preparation as soon as possible.

“We cannot continue with the present system where the PR is run by boards,” he said. “We need to put in place a proper system of checks and balances that are based on a clear point system that can be measured and monitored.”

A review of rollover was a waste of time, McLaughlin said, and queried exactly what the original immigration review team had been doing since it was established more than two years ago. He said there was a need now to address the permanent residency application process in order to be ready for any surge in applications that would come as a result of repealing the rollover policy. The plan to suspend rather than repeal was simply pushing the problem down the line.

“I was the first to acknowledge that rollover needs to change,” he said. “But suspending it for two years will just pass it on to the next administration to deal with,” adding that the preparation for the increase in PR applications had to begin now

He also queried claims by government officials that they would be able to suspend rollover now to address the current problem of a mass exodus of workers over the next eighteen month without allowing all of those people to use the time acquired by the temporary situation to apply for PR.

McLaughlin pointed out that legally anyone who is due for rollover in the next eighteen months and can now apply for another permit will pass the eight year lawful residency barrier, and he could not see a way that it would not count. McLaughlin warned that it was extremely unlikely that such a claim by government could stand up in court as people were either lawfully resident in Cayman or they were not.

He said these issues were creating unnecessary uncertainty, which could all be eliminated by changing the focus to the permanent residency application. At this point, the country could lawfully control who it wanted to stay in the Cayman Islands and advance towards status based on a fair, transparent and sensible point system, where expat workers could see clearly what they needed to do if they wished to remain here.

Cayman could not return to the way things were before the term limit was introduced, the opposition leader stated, as he pointed out that people could not be allowed to remain in the islands indefinitely without any security of tenure, potentially creating a situation that had occurred before the mass status grants of 2003. The opposition leader said that had created tremendous ill-will and the country could not afford to repeat that mistake.

With the term limit having failed, McLaughlin said it was now time to allow all those who remained on work-permits for eight years or more to apply for PR, but to speed up, streamline and improve that process.

Category: Politics

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In reviewing the PR process, I hope they revised that outdated test which hasnt been revised for years. Also, simply walking some dogs or pretending to care about the aged population should've be the criteria for PR. The hardest part is waiting the 7 years. After that, you're good to go!

  2. People for HQ Sign Restoration says:

    We, The People for HQ Sign Restoration (formerly The People for HQ Fence Repair), do herby submit that it would be in the best interests of the PPM at this time to focus their efforts on the resotration of the shabby sign which adorns their headquarters on Crewe Road. Until such time as this restoration has been carried out to our satisfaction, we are not willing to listen to their opinion on any other matter.

    PFHQSR

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM has the jump on you and it's already being replaced.

    • Anonymous. says:

      Well you done know had it been Bush's sign he woulda spent a few million replacing it, and putting up statues of himself and others around the place.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Alden is correct. Waiting 8 years to apply for PR is 8 years these people will not have any incentive to keep their money here and invest in their future which is our future as well. Rollover should be eliminated NOW!

  4. Anonymous says:

    we should put all applicants for PR on Television, once a month we should have an evening of PR ….where the wote is put to the people……up stands Johnny Canoe from England…he tells the watching public and those in the audience why he deserves PR, and we all vote live…results same night

    this would be brilliant to watch…..like American Idol……we could make money from sponsors, from calls/texts/etc……vote 1 YES, vote 2 NO….most votes wins….

    surely something like this would bring a sense of credibillity and respect back to the immigration farce we currently have

    • so anonymous says:

      It would certainly bring a sense of credibility to what people of other countries are saying about Caymanians.  Wow!  Now I belive it.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes! Now that you have been granted status it's easy to sit back and watch and laugh….congrats to you! some of us are working hard to make it all work and teach along the way…

    • Anonymous says:

      Or maybe an arena… with lions… and approval signaled with a thumbs up and disapproval… thumbs down.  Much like the gods we are….

       

  5. Anonymous says:

    Alden's idea would appear to be a clear, 21st century, fair and equitable solution. This is the most laudable, educated suggestion I have heard in six and a half years living in Cayman. It should promote mutual growth of Cayman for everyone who lives here. If you want to know what a lack of integration and mutual respect does to a country, Google "Fiji coups", or read The Happy Islands of Oceania by Paul Theroux (available on Amazon and the Camana Bay bookshop). Fiji's past problems are Cayman's taken to the extreme and it did not end well for anyone involved, particularly the Fiji economy.

    Investment markets need certainty. Immigration is Cayman's largest driver of economic growth. Certainty will lead people to wantto live and stay in Cayman and invest here and the economy will turn around again. That is my prediction if Alden's suggestion makes it into policy.

    I also predict that some vocal Caymanians will moan abaout such a policy. I dare to hope though that those Caymanians concerned by this suggestion think though the economics and investment basics behind this policy suggestion. Think of the pro's, think of the cons. In summary think. Then think again. Then try and calmly form a conclusion as to all of the positive and real negative possible efftects of such a policy and then and only then, see whether or not you support such a policy. Think for example – what would a completely impartial economic and social adviser, say based in Denmark (a land of highly educated, liberal, cool, calm, rational, blond people) think about such an immigration policy?

    By the way, I am a Brit leaving Cayman anyway after six years and a half years of being here. The world is large and I want to experience more cultures, history, geography and lifestyles. I am consciously deciding to leave Cayman – partly because my prospects are limited here. I stand to gain, or loose nothing as a result of this policy. I am leaving anyway. I do, however, want Cayman to be a happier, more stable, integrated society, where Caymanians, expats and even government ministers can respect, socialise and learn from one another. Well, maybe not the ministers, let's be realistic.

    Good luck Cayman. You have a better chance of being a well-adjusted society than most countries in the world, so no rants on here or elsewhere. Such rants are regressive and help form other people's opinions of the ranter. If you want to change things, vote, lobby, write on this blog, present your arguments, but be respectful of everyone involved (except Bush, who is a lunatic). Give your youngsters someone to look up to – someone forging a positive future for Cayman, where anyone wanting to be involved in social improvement can be. Everyone needs a role model. One of mine is even a politician.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not Aldens idea for sure. While he may persuade most of the bloggers that it is his, it is absolutely not. The thought process he has the audacity to call his own has Ben around in discussions all over this island after the ppm administration implemented thenroll over. If he had come out and said this is a collective opinion of his party and etc, I would have more respect for the man.

      Shame Shame

  6. Head in the .. says:

    Great idea!  Unfortunately even if implemented it will just be another in a long line of rules and laws that can't stand a chance in the face of incompetence and unwillingness to follow said rules and laws which is something that defines modern day Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am Pleased With this,  Alden.. i am glad you are speaking like this, I am hopin this is not just a "I want to win the next election sound bite" just for show. Please mean what you say and also push to get it done, as it makes allot of sense.

    This is the best argument I have heard in a while. I didnt support PPM beacuse I felt as if the party created social unrest when PPM  took over. the attitude towards expats was not good. do not hide from it, this is a fact, but I am glad that there is a change of heart. for the betterment of this Country.

    I beleive Mac Means well, but right now seem to be guessing for solutions and not going about things in a civil mannar.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why should government suspend the rollover  and allow expats to go beyond 7 years and be able to apply for PR and ultimately Status if Caymanians are not entitled to Caymanian only jobs.  I totally agree with MLA Solomon that some jobs should be reserved for Caymanians only just look at those that Bermuda reserve for Bermudianhttp://bermuda-online.org/employwp.htm

    • Kumah says:

      This would not work. Caymanians have proven over, and over , and over again – that they are not willing to do certain jobs!!! And many do not have the skills to perfom some of those jobs on that list  – what do you propose to do with the shortfall? 

      • Anonymous says:

        blame someone else!

      • Anonymous says:

        Earth to Kumah, you are so full of crab back, really can you tell me who performed the jobs in Cayman before you and other came here? there is not a single job in these islands that were not performed by Caymanians and cannot be performed by a Caymanian. In saying this no offense intented  but do you believe your leaving will cause Cayman to come to an end? These islands existed long before you came here and will continue until the end of time.  We are tired of listening to your crab back psychology, please take it some where else we don't want it or need it, try Bermuda they need a few good expat advisors. 

    • An on nymus says:

      WOW 10:10 thank you very much for that site. Now there's an Island with their locals in mind and what I call Black and White rules. No grey areas there ! So you all still want to complain about living here and the Cayman Islands in general ? Very well thought out and by the way they are ahead of us with their economy. I am very impressed and wish that we may learn something here for our future…. hum … plan.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Human Rights wait and see, the government had better leave well alone.  Many days Caymanians will wish that they had left the rollover in place. 

    • Anonymous says:

      There are three things that simply don't exist in Cayman:

      1) Rivers

      2) Mountains

      3) Human Rights

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        How come you can post your opinion here if human rights do not exist in Cayman?

        Take a look at a lot of other countries total lack of human rights before you spout such garbage, seriously.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stop embarrassing yourself. Clearly you don't understand the concept. Perhaps you didn't notice the use of the word "Anonymous". Perhaps you don't notice its used on a constant basis throught this website. You think we don't want to put our names? I would love to, but we all know there will be repercussions. 

          • Anonymous says:

            I am not the original poster but it's not clear that you understand the concept. Although there are areas that need review it is obviously not correct to say the human rights do not exist at all in Cayman.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This makes too much sense. The government is sure to reject it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Even the point system isn't perfect though.  I know of someone who failed on the basis of not enough points.  He double checked and found that they had just added up the totals wrong and that he had, in fact passed.

    When he raised it they said they had made a mistake but what they changed was not the total but reduced his points so that they reflected the original total…and still failed.

    Seems like the points system is not as straight forward and tamper proof as it would appear.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing is perfect where humans are involved but a points system with clear objective criteria is the best alternative. People abused also need to be confident enough to judicially challenge improper decisions. The courts have shown themselves quite willing to overturn improper decisions and being criticised by the courts can be career limiting for people abusing the system.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is one of many stories. Truth be told, there is no points systems. Its a facade for the corruption. For those who don't achieve x, the applicant has no friends and the boards are hoping the person cant afford to appeal. For those who need points friends call in, and trust me, the points are found. So much of the points system is done by telephone and bbm.

      Ask any attorney who has reviewed applicants' files if the system is equitable across the board.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just today a colleague of mine received a text from a board member that his application was just heard and successful. 

      This system is so corrupt that board members don't even seem to know they are acting, at best, unethically.

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Its not about points or what you know – its about who you know – this has been proven so many times its beyond doubt.  The points system is only used for those who don't know anyone who can influence decisions for you.

  12. insane says:

    are you still confused with this situation????
    I'm so lost that sometimes i get my passport to look at what country I'm in!!!

  13. Anony Mous says:

    Here we go. The game is on. Who want to take a bet on 1213?

     

  14. D.M. says:

    WOW, Alden and I actually agree on something!

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying since the introduction of term limits back in 2004.

    Shame it’s taken so long for someone to agree with me, we could have had this sorted out a long time ago. Never was a need for roll over when we had a PR process already in place. What we need now is swift action to remove term limit and fix the current issues with PR which is in a right old mess right now.

    Please don't screw this one up, make a fair and clearly defined workable system as described in the article and for God's sake STICK TO IT……….

  15. Anonymous says:

     

    The Idea of PR is nice but unfortunately it’s only helpful to people that come to Cayman for Work. Someone like myself that would love to reside permanently in Cayman and has no need to seek employment is kicked off the island every 6 months and practically has to beg to come back. Even though I own property on the island, which most expats don't, I face the dilemma twice a year that some immigration official that just doesn’t like foreigners will on a whim say I can’t come back. The only way I can apply for PR would be to invest 750K locally and prove 150K a year income and then pay a 25K fee on top of that, which is not easy, and means that if I fall short by just a few thousand I’m out and all I’ve invested in worthless. realistacally someoen can support themselves quite well on half of that.

     In my option if I can support myself although I'm not a millionaire I should be given a realistic chance. Instead of being treated like a scrub that's stealing something from the Caymanian people by immigration.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ah, now we're talking… clear, simple, uncomplicated and econonmical solution rather than all the unclear, overly-complicated, confusing and undeoubtedly ridiculously expensive and likely ineffective mish-mash of solutions proposed by the IRT over the last few days which have already had a severe distabilizing and upsetting effect on those living here, both local and foreign.

    I'm not PPM, but this seems to make more sense and seems a lot more straightforward so I have to find myself agreeing with them.  But if any consideration is to be given to this suggestion, I really do think the points system should be reviewed and a lot more emphasis given in terms of contribution to Society o those that INTEGRATE  in Cayman in harmony with the Caymanian people and surroundings rather than the current criteria in that respect.  

  17. Anonymous says:

    That is crazy talk about allowing everyone to appy for PR, Alden. You clearly have no concept of the scope of that undertaking or the negative impact it would have on Caymanians in the workplace.  

  18. Anonymous says:

    What! Someone with a brain!

    Brilliant idea. You got my vote just on this statement!

    There is now hope.

  19. Rollover Beethoven says:

    This week the European Court of Human Rights confirmed that a settled migrant's social ties to a community constitute part of the right of private life under Article 8 of the ECHR and thereforce must be protected and cannot be interfered with except in certain defined circusmtances.  The current system is now illegal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is it there always seems to be a lawyer on LSD posting comments

    • Anonymous says:

      You need to understand what "settled migrant" means before trying to interpret implications.

      • Rollover Beethoven says:

        I think you need to realise the difference between "settled migrant" and "settled status".

  20. Anonymous says:

    Now wouldn't that be sensible?