US experts battle it out

| 19/07/2013

(CNS): Two legal expert witnesses went head-to-head Thursday when they gave their evidence regarding American law, and in particular the issue of allegiance to the United States, on the second day of the petition hearing challenging the election of Tara Rivers to the district of West Bay at the national poll in May. The chief justice heard from Professor David Cole and Professor David Rowe (left), who gave contradictory expert opinions on whether the possession and use of a United States passport constituted an acknowledgment of allegiance to that country – a narrow, but important point,on which Rivers’ possession of a US passport and her right to run for office depends.

Despite taking up most of the day, the arguments between the two men were fundamental. Rivers’ US legal expert, Professor Cole, contended that since a landmark case in the 1970's, which held that those born in the US were no longer required to swear an oath of allegiance in order to get a passport, the possession and use of it is no longer an acknowledgement of allegiance over and above the allegiance that is owed by any person born in the US.

However, the legal expert who gave evidence for John Hewitt, the petitioner in the case and husband of Velma Hewitt, the UDP candidate who came in fifth place in the West Bay district, took a contrary position. Professor Rowe said that after the 1972 case, the oath was replaced by a declaration that is on a passport application form. Anyone applying for a passport fills in the form and, as a result, the act of allegiance is now inferred through that rather than an explicit swearing of an oath, as was the case in the past.

The experts were called to the stand following the completion of the cross-examination of Rivers by Abraham Dabdoub, the leading council for the petitioner, on Thursday morning. She continued to press home the point that she believed her absence from Cayman did not prevent her from being resident, despite the points raised emphatically by the attorney over the “absence of her presence” from Cayman for most of the seven years prior to the 2013 election.

Cole was the first of the US experts to take the stand, and although he gave evidence for several hours, what he said during his time on the stand amounted to a relatively simple point. Cole took the position that, contrary to other case law, a person who is a US citizen as a result of being born in America does not make any act of allegiance by applying for and using a US passport that could be described as exceeding the existing allegiance that all US citizens owe merely by being born there. 

He explained that the landmark legal case of Woodrow in 1972 found that there were no lawful grounds to require a person to swear an oath before they got a passport and that it was unconstitutional to make them do so before they could acquire one as it undermined their freedom to travel. 

From then on, anyone born in the US no longer needed to make any acknowledgement or subjective promises regarding allegiance, Cole claimed. He said they now merely sign a declaration, which is a list of facts, and get their passport. As a result, Cole said he believed there was no additional allegiance and no own act of acknowledgment of any kind.

Cole also argued against the findings of numerous case law and precedent put to him by Dabdoub and suggested that the judges were wrong or had misunderstood the law, not just cases in Jamaica but in the US Supreme Court as well.

When Professor Rowe entered the witness box, he disagreed with the fundamental position adopted by Cole and said the declaration was the inferred act of acknowledgement.

He noted the two way street of allegiance, which is that the US government promises to protect its citizens, a benefit those who take out a US passport enjoy when they are travelling overseas. He pointed out that had Rivers encountered any problems while travelling overseas on her US passport, as she has done frequently, she would have had the protection of the US embassy in any of those countries, as she has an allegiance to the US government and it has an obligation to her.

The professor stressed that the Woodrow case was about an oath, which was merely replaced by a declaration. Rowe claimed that by applying for a passport, Rivers, like every other US Citizen, is acknowledging the allegiance she has as an American when she signs the form and makes the declaration. He said that there was no whimsical position of having a US passport as a matter of convenience, and while Professor Cole’s position was an “interesting and sophisticated opinion”, it was not one supported in case law.

Following a full day of combative arguments in the courtroom over the critical issue of whether or not having a US passport constitutes an act of acknowledgement to a foreign power and therefore disqualifies Rivers from being elected or not, the court adjourned around 5:30pm Thursday.

With the case going over its allotted two days and both leading counsel from overseas jurisdictions due to leave Cayman tomorrow, the chief justice directed the lawyers to return to court Friday at 9am in order to make their closing submissions on the issues of residency and the US passport before lunch.

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie made it clear that if he found Rivers was not eligible for election to office following the closure of the case, he would hear submissions on the second part of the petition and the remedy in a separate hearing.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If they give up their citizienship they are no longer Americans and can travel on other passports.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here's an interesting tangent to this case. The constitution seems to allow for elected members to hold additional citizenship so long as they obtained it passively by being born outside of Cayman. That is clear. If the court decides that renewing or holding an active passport constitutes allegiance to a foreign country, then in order to run for office a person would have to let their passport expire, or renounce their second citizenship. Now, it makes no sense to do the latter if the constitution seems to allow keeping the second citizenship. However, if a person is a US citizen, for example, they may only enter the US with a valid US passport.

    In effect, the court may determine that it's okay to have a second citizenship provided by place of birth, but not okay to have an active passport in order to run for office. But that in turn would infringe upon that persons right of movement and travel (which is why, for example, the US threw away with the whole oath of allegiance being necessary to obtain the passport). So the court might end up infringing upon an individuals protected right of travel if they decide that while okay to have a passive second citizenship, having a valid passport is not allowed (to be eligible as a MLA).

    Boy, bet we all wish when the constitution was written they have put a bit more thought into the wording and implications…

    By the way, did anyone else notice that the exemption to residency for educational reasons doesn't explicitly define education either? It doesn't really state if that means full-time student, part-time student (while employed or otherwise), or even if the education has to be at an accredited institution, or any institution at all. So does professional training fall under that broad topic of "education?"

    I'm very interested as to how the court will eventually decide on these issues. While the subjects in appearance seem narrow, there seems to be a large area for interpretation that will set some potentially interesting precedents.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Having a work permit in the UK whilst you are studying is not the same as having a work permit in other places. If you are studying for a "sandwich" degree in the UK, you work for either a full year or three shorter periods between your study terms. You need a work permit in order to do that. It is different from a student visa but it doesn't mean that you are no longer a student or that you are resident in the UK. You are still resident in the Cayman Islands if the latter is your home.

    • Anonymous says:

      As a Caymanian has the right to work and settle in the UK, do you need a work permit, not sure on that, would need checking. Unless you were in the UK as a US citizen, then you would need a work permit?

      • Anonymous says:

        Entering the UK on a BOTC (Caymanian) passport requires a work permit to live and work in the UK. Only EU passports, such as a UK passport, does not.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is simply not true. Stop spreading that absolute nonsense. The Right to which you refer applies only to BOTC citizens who have registered as full British citizens (a discretionary process taking 6 months) and NOT to Caymanians, thousands of which are not BOTC’s.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah but your are still "absent". A resident can be absent and still be a resident but if you're absent 400 days in 7 years you need to fit within one of the exemptions  to run for office.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What it comes down to is that the law turns out to exclude a whole lot of Caymanians from running for office. It would be better to let the voter to decide whether the candidate has been on the island enough lately.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong!!  Any Caymanian who was born overseas can voluntarily renounce their foreign citizenship and qualify to run for office in Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If Snowden also had a Cayman passport, he'd be in Venezuela by now.

  6. Rock Iguana says:

    As explained to me by a tax lawyer down on Brickell, having US citizenship is a lot like being pregnant – there’s no such thing as being a little pregnant!

    • Agree says:

      As an American who has lived overseas for over 20 years I agree.  I am frequently conflicted as my children are Caymanian, my husband holds both a British and Caymanian passport, but I remain American.

      The real test here was:  Tara signed a renewal and wanted the beneifts of a US passport.  If born in the USA and never applied (or renewed) a passport as an adult she could claim birth rights alone, but the sole ACT of renewing as an adult made her choice very clear.  I hope the courts let her keep her seat (or run again in a bi-election?) but she clearly is a US citizen and has enjoyed the beneifts (and the pain, welcome to the ex-pat club.)

      What I do not understand is WHY she did not give up her passport before running for office?  There are clear indications that she would be giving it up to serve in a government that was not American (an allowance under reasons to give up US citizenship)  Clearly, she was not giving it up for tax reasons…

      Which has to lead all of us "Americans" who religiously file our taxes every June.  Did she file her taxes?  If so, this is another point of proof that she was an active US citizen.  If not, she is brealking the law.

      Either way, this US passport has not proven it's worth for the Miami shopping trips and a word to the wise for all the Caymanians who pass through Miami and also send your kids to US schools, get your pencils out, as the tax man cometh.

      • Anonymous says:

        Again, if you are a US citizen, you legally cannot travel back to the US with anything other than a US passport. If she had let her passport expire and applied for a travel visa under her Cayman passport, it would have been denied due to her citizenship. Therefore she would have had to renounce her US citizenship, which, according to the wording in the constitution in regards to citizenship gained through birth outside Cayman, is not necessary. So she shouldn't be forced to renounce her US citizenship, according to our constitution, but then if she can't have an active passport she cannot travel to the US, which is run contrary to human rights norms. Quite the pickle, no?

        • Anonymous says:

          Here’s another pickle. When Tara goes to renew her US Passport, that you rightfully indicate is required, how will she sign the passport application form that asks her to confirm, under oath, that she has not sworn allegiance to a foreign power? Tara swore allegiance to the Cayman Islands and the Queen when she was sworn into our legislative assembly.

          • Anonymous says:

            Isn't that also the case for any civil servant who holds an American passport?

          • Anonymous says:

            She simply states that she has done so in a separate statement and attach it to the application. The oath of allegiance to the Queen in and of itself is not a problem, only if she intended to relinquish her US citizenship when she did it. If so, then she would have relinquished her US citizenship under US law.

          • Anonymous says:

            If she renewed her US passport after her election to the LA then she should have, in accordance with the instructions on the form, lined out the relevant statement and then attached an explanatory statement made under oath or affirmation.  Then it would be up to the US government to decide what to do.

            If she had not yet taken such an oath of allegiance to the Cayman Islands and the Queen at the time of her US passport renewal then there that paragraph would not apply.

            The whole reasoning behind the statement that forms a part of the US passport application is to determine if the applicant has committed an act that would be considered a voluntary relinquishment of US citizenship with the intention to lose US citizenship.  

            Generally taking a low level post with a foreign government is not an issue – it certainly was not for me.  But taking a high level policy-making post in a foreign government could be considered an act of voluntary relinquishment of US citizenship by the US State Department.



          • Anonymous says:

            The Compass article reports her as denying any allegiance to the Queen. If true, she is unfit for office on that ground alone.

            • Anonymous says:

              How did she take the oath to become an MLA then? 

              • Anonymous says:

                Maybe she crossed her fingers behind her back. I personally think her conduct is disgusting on this issue.

        • Caymanian Concern says:

          Okay, I am curious about these pickles….. if this is the case, then how do our well heeled exec Americans and Dart  who gave up their citizenship travel to the USA?  There are quite a few Americans who have given up their US passports (not for tax reasons of course) that are always on planes to Miami.  

          It MUST be possible for Caymanians on a visa (that have given up US passports) to travel to the USA?  Clearly Tara would have been eligible for a British passport via BOTC and can travel on that……this was poor planning on her part in the face of the standing law.

          Again, too bad as the people chose her, but the law is the law and I'm afraid we must not try to be above it.

          • Anonymous says:

            You're missing the point. Yes, after renouncing US citizenship one could then apply for a travel visa to the US. However, the clause in the constitution allows for second citizenship, provided it is due to being born outside Cayman. Under that clause, she shouldn't be forced to renounce in order to run for office. Why have that clause at all if not to intend to allow it? 

            • Anon says:

              It does not seem at all inappropriate to me for our Constitution to require a candidate for political office to have allegience only to the Cayman Islands, as evidenced by having only one acknowledged citizenship.

              My view is that the original clause of the Constitution which addresses this was drafted in acknowledgment of the fact that a significant percentage of Caymanians were and still are born in the USA and therefore obtain US citizenship at birth. On a stand alone basis, this does not signify dual allegience – a baby hardly has a say in the matter, even if the parents apply for a passport on behalf of the infant or child..

              On reaching the age of majority, this exception would still apply as long as the individual does nothing to affirm another citizenship. Applying for a passport as an adult constitutes a knowing act of allegience and this makes all the difference, a fact likely to be made clear when the court's decision is handed down. 

          • Anonymous says:

            They are not US citizens so they can travel to the US on a different passport.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The arguements of this case is so interesting, and I wish the very best for Tara, as she cannot be blamed for the place of her Birth. The fact remains that  she is a Caymanian of both parents with dual Citizenship to the USA, UK and the Cayman Islands. Her strongest ties are with the Cayman Islands where she lived, educated,  Worked and  invested her life. 

    She knew Education is one of the Key Factors in one's life, and I see no reason why  further educating or working somewhere in the world should claim to be an obstacle. Within those seven (7) years the cycle was  broken by returns to her homeland. This my opinion, not being a Lawyer or expert.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tara is a lawyer and for her to say that she did not read a document that she signed as per the elections documents, is seen as a blatant lie or she treated the Cayman Islands Elections laws and therefore its legal documents as trivial and not to be taken seriously.   Why would anyone refuse to sign the forms if all their Ts are crossed and Is dotted?  She by her inaction implies that she knew something was amiss and opted not to highlight it.   That is deceitful but it shows that all politicians are exactly the same regardless of the camouflage they use.   WIth that said, I still believe Tara is one of the most intelligent of all the elected WB candidates and deserves the opportunity but I would not want her to circumvent the law for her own benefit when others have been penalised or lost their opportunity for the same reason.  It should be the responsibility of the elections office now to review that section of the law regarding dual nationality as we know most Caymanians went to the States to have their children and should not be deprived of their Caymanian rights.   What I would like to know is if there was a riot that threatened the safety of residents who would be the first to be on the plane out of Cayman?  WOuld it be those with dual nationality that could find safe harbour in their other home land or will it be those of us with only one passport?   Tara has been disingenuous and so the law must be applied equally and we move on.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe Tara took the view that the Elections Office's function is purely administrative and is limited to determining whether the nomination papers are in order, and was overstepping its bounds when it removed Richard Christian and Kent McTaggart from the ballot based on its interpretation of the Constitution with which she (and Richard and Sharon Roulstone) disagreed. I agree with this view. Therefore to have answered the question "do you have another passport?" would, in light of the Elections Office treatment of Richard Christian, would have caused her, wrongfully in her view, to be removed from the ballot. The matter is now before the court, the only body which can determine whose interpretation is correct.     

      • Anon says:

        While I agree that the court is the only body which can rule onthe correct interpretation of the Constitution, it would have been preferable for the court to be involved before the election, not after.

        This option would have been available to Tara had she completed the appropriate declaration, leading presumably to her removal from the ballot and then challenged this decision in court. Whatever the outcome then, the country would have been spared the potential of a by-election. If Tara is as smart a lawyer as she is said to be, this option must have occurred to her.

        That she chose the most disruptive approach makes me wonder what she was really putting first – country or her fledgling political career?.  

        • Anonymou says:

          The UDP knew very well they could have challenged it prior to the election; but they prefer the way that stirs up the most trouble.  So they waited and roped Gordon into being their henchman.  More reason to just be totally done with the UDP and their self serving ways.

        • Anonymous says:

          Your argument makes no sense. Tara has not disrupted anything; rightfully or wrongfully, this Petition has. It is obvious that challenging her removal from the ballot after the event would have been far more disruptive as it would potentially have required a new election for all four seats, not just one.  What other remedy would there be? She's obviously a much smarter lawyer than you.   

          • Anon says:

            And apparently I'm a much samrter lawyer than you since you have completely missed the point – which was that had she declared to the Elections Office prior to the election that she held a second passport and had that office then removed her from the ballot, she could have challenged that decision in court and if successful in making the very arguement she is now making, had herself reinstated on the ballot. If she had failed in her action, she would not have been on the ballot and in either case there would be no possibility of a by-election.

            As it was, if her reasoning was indeed as laid out in the post to which I responded, she decided  to assume that the Elections Office was wrong in its position  – a position which has every chance of being supported by the court in the very near future.

            • Anonymous says:

              Ummm… and exactly how would this be less disruptive?

              1. Such an action would have disrupted the entire election process, ballots having been printed etc. and cause her to focus on a court case rather than campaigning. 

              2. It would have required HER to commence an action just to claim a place on the ballot. Obviously much better to let that onus fall on someone else after she is elected.  

              Ever wonder why Richard Christian did not take that route, bright spark?

              I doubt anyone so dim is a lawyer at all. 

              • Anon says:

                "Obviously much better to let that onus fall on someone else after she is elected. "

                Which really makes my point, which is that the way selected by Tara to deal with an obvious issue was to put her desire for office before the overall well being of the country. Do you really believe that having to reprint ballot papers for one district would be more disruptive than having to hold a by-election with all that entails? 

                As for having to split her time between campaigning and the court case, this is true, but it would have been her problem, not the country's, which brings me full circle.


                • Anonymous says:

                  No, it doesn't show that at all. What you suggest would have disrupted the entire process for everyone. It could have potentially have meant that the elections would have to be postponed. There was no certainty that any bye-election would be required.

                  • Anon says:

                    You're entitled to your viewpoint but I don't agree with you. I don't even agree with your spelling of by-election.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      You don't have to agree. It's fine so long as s. 86 of the constitution and I agree.  

            • Anonymous says:

              You have obviously have no clue what you're talking about. Your complaint was that her approach was the most disruptive but what you suggest she should have done would have been far more disruptive. Do you understand that such a move would have disrupted the entire election process for all candidates? As you should have learned from this case, court proceedings (including the resulting judgement) take some time to complete and would have taken most of the time between nomination day and election day with the possibility that completely new ballots would have to be printed. I cannot imagine that any sensible candidate would opt for the certainty of having to incur the costs of commending proceedings rather than the risk of having to defend proceedings commenced by someone else after the event.    

        • Anonymous says:

          To: Submitted by Anon (not verified) on Fri, 07/19/2013 – 15:52.                                      I will make this real simple for you.There is only one day set aside to be nominated to run in a general election in the Cayman Is.Failure to gain nomination on that day means that your name will not be on the ballot ,and therefore you cannot get elected.(Refer to Richard Christian and Kent McTaggart)

          • Anonymous says:

            And does this prevent the issue from being dealt with on a timely basis well in advance of nomination day? Or is that too simple?

    • Anonymous says:

      What she stated was that it was made clear when the form was handed to her that it was voluntary, and like many other candidates did, she simply handed it back to them without completing it. As a lawyer, would you sign a declaration that you knew had no legal basis or was not required under the elections law or constitution to do? I wouldn’t.

      • Anonymous says:

        Did the returning officer also said to Richard Christian, that it was a vuluntary form, and he didnt need to fill it in?


  9. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a good example of how America views their passport privileges. When Snowden snitched they jerked away his rights to one, as they viewed him a traitor to their alligemce. They serious about honor to the country. So with our MLA possessing one, it does concern me as to how much might and influence uncle Sam could have upon them. This is a national security risk to us as far as am concerned. Thereis a reason why one in such position of state confidentiality amd responsiblties should hold only their servimg countries passport. We should never be too lenient to allow this in parliament now or ever, it would set a bad precedent that could come back to haunt us in the future, if allowed.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are not at all concerned here with how America views their passport privileges. This is the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dont be dumb. Of course we should be concerned about what the USA expect. Isnt that the case at hand now?

    • Anonymous says:

      A national security risk?  Serious?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah I would think it is. Who's to say what could happen between the realtions of Cayman and the USA. No one knows the future. Ask American born Snowden who's now stuck in Russia. And to imagine he was speaking out in favor of the American people right to know, when he ratted the NSA out.

        So yeah. It is a security risk!

        • Anonymous says:

          As far as national security is concerned, the US keeps closer watch on Cayman waters than Cayman does. They should send a bill.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I noticed on another one of the articles, the commentary around who was in the Court and who was not.

    Frankly, I would much prefer that the Ministers of Gov't be attending to the business of running the Country and not all sitting in the Law Courts showing support for someone who did not see it necessary or honest to make an honest and open declaration before, during or after election day.

    All the show of support does not change the facts. It is unfortunate that so much time and energy had to be expended on an otherwise avoidable situation.

    I hope that an open and honest declaration is made of the cost and bearer of the cost of this Court case, if the public coffers are involved.


    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you felt the same way and vocalised it when the whole UDP cabinet sat and stared at the jury during John John's trial.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure US law has anything to do with the issue.  The common law has always taken the view that the holding of a passport equates with allegiance.  See the House of Lords case DPP v. Joyce.  So what is in issue is whether, as a a matter of Cayman law, Rivers owes allegiance to the US.  You don't need US law experts at all.  If Cayman law did not apply then cadidate might have foreign passports and some might be eligible and some might not be, depending on foreign laws.

    • Anonymous says:

      You would have benefitted from listening to the submissions of Prof. Jowell on DPP v. Joyce. DPP v. Joyce regarded the holding of a British passport by a foreign national who had applied for it. It was to be determined solely as a matter of English law. Here it is a matter for U.S. legal experts in the first instance to explain the U.S. legal significance of applying for, holding and using a U.S. passport. You also do not understand the issue in this case. It is not whether Tara owes a duty of allegiance to the U.S., which as a U.S. citizen she clearly does (and her counsel and expert witness admitted this), but whether she has subjectively acknowledged such allegiance as per s. 62 of the constitution.  

  12. Slowpoke says:

    Maybe while he is at it, the good Professor Rowe, would like to explain how "the US government promises to protect its citizens a benefit those who take out a US passport enjoy when they are travelling overseas." as it applies to whistleblowers like Ed Snowden.

    I sure hope I get through Immigration tomorrow before the NSA reads this post::>)


  13. Anonymous says:

    A few questions:

    1) does Miss Rivers pay US Taxes and file a return to the USA?

    2) She admitted in Court  that she declares on the Cayman Custom Form that she is Caymanian, What passport is she using when entering the Cayman Islands?

    3) She also said that she uses the US passport for ease of travel. Does she use the US Passport for entry to the US, but a Cayman passport for entry into the Cayman Islands.If so, is that not odd or deceptive?

    4) If Miss Rivers used her US passport frequently, it was a constant reminder that she is a US Citizen. If a US Citizen, then by the Cayman Constitution she cannot be an elected member of the Lesgislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands.

    My final point is, if the Constitution, is too restrictive, then Law makers, change the Constitution but until such time that there is an approved  change, all persons in the Cayman Islands are to abide by the Laws of the Cayman Islands.



    • Anonymous says:


      I couldnt agree with you more.

      We Caymanians do not want to apply our own  laws, to ourselves. let's look at the Jamaican laws. A country we alway frown on, of being criminal oriented….but they uphold their laws.

      When we speak of politicians having to renounce their US Citizenship, to hold a political office in Jamaica, we think of;


      Angela Brown-Burke                          Jan 2012

      Patrece Charles-freeman                 Aug. 2011

      Ian Hayles                                             Oct.2007

      Shashine Robinson                           Dec.2010

      Michael Stern                                               2009

      Daryl Vaz                                               April 2008

      Danville Walker                                   Nov. 2011

      Everald Warminston                                   2011

      Sharon Hay Webster                                  2011

      Why we always want to ignore the law? now we have lawyers doing what they do best..spinning and twisting the law, just to win a case.





      • Ethics in EVERYTHING you do says:

        Again, even as a supporter of Tara's election numbers (Well done and well won…) we CANNOT ignore the LAW to benefit ourselves!

        This is the diisease that is killing Cayman.  We "Bend" laws and feel "Entitled" and this is a poison that will slowly eat us alive.  Until we set a true and good example for our children that hard work and ETHICS are more important above personal gain, we have failed ourselves and our children.

        I never thought I would see such an acceptance of corruption!?!  From Gas Boy, to Shadowy Shady Civil Service HR "practices" (still going on new govt?), Politicians policymakers with personal favours and favourtism, Travel budgets, credit card abuse, charity donation abuses, crooked cronies, and Board BS appointments…..What we are teaching our kids is to try-it-on until you get caught?

        Noooooo Sir….it is time to add ETHICS into every aspect ofour daily life.  No more under the carpet and business as usual. 

        The GOOD news is that we are only 55,000 people and with FOI and watchdogs we CAN stop the day to day little whte-lies and entitlement cheating.

        Sorry Tara, the law will find you lacking on this one, but please run again, the people spoke and they wanted you….we just want everyone to learn the rules and actually play by them.

        Now for those other items:  YOUR turn is next civil service employees, the FOIs are on there way so better use practices, get ready for the microscope next week, and stop the game playing.  This is only the tip of the iceberg.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most people use whichever passport is most practical when entering or leaving a country. For example, I use my EEC UK passport to go to any EU country. When I leave and enter Cayman and the US, I use my Cayman passport which has my US visa in it. 

    • Anonymous says:

      3) She also said that she uses the US passport for ease of travel. Does she use the US Passport for entry to the US, but a Cayman passport for entry into the Cayman Islands.If so, is that not odd or deceptive?


      The United States requires anyone holding American citizenship to use a US passport to enter the US, even if that person holds another passport due to dual citizenship.  The US will not knowingly issue a visa to an American citizen to allow entry using a passport from another country.

      Cayman has every right to set its own laws to establish qualifications of its legislators. However current Cayman law could result in a Caymanian with dual US citizenship and no US passport being elected. Such a legislator would not be eligible to enter the US (even if just transiting the Miami airport) to conduct business on behalf of the Cayman Islands.


    • Anonymous says:

      If you have a US passport, you legally cannot enter the US with anything else. If you have a Cayman passport, why would you enter Cayman with anything else? There's nothing duplicious or deceptive about it.

    • Bono says:

      Item 3                     If you are in possesion of a US passport you must use it to enter and leave the US. The same is true if you have  US visa. The UK is the same. Therefore if I have dual citizenship of UK and US and Im travelling from the US to the UK. legal requirements mean I must leave on the US passport and arrive on the UK passport. Cayman probably has the same law.  There is nothing odd or deceptive at all. I have four passports all legal. It would be odd if I flew into the US on one and left on a different one as that would throw flags at immigration. I always arrive and depart on my Cayman passport but rarely use it outide Cayman unless it is to a country that it is accepted without a visa.              This makes point 2 & 4 a moot point otherwise she would be breakking the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      I use my British passport to enter and leave the US and the UK, but I use my Caymanian PAssport to enter and leave Cayman. It is not deceptive it is what it is when one has multiple passports

  14. Anonymous says:

    One merely has the read the actual US passport application which requires the applicant to declare a number of things including that the applicant holds no office in a foreign government. Here is an extract from the actual application available online from the US Department of State website: 

     I have not, since acquiring United States citizenship/nationality, been naturalized as a citizen of a foreign state; taken an oath or made an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state; entered or served in the armed forces of a foreign state; accepted or performed the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or political subdivision thereof; made a formal renunciation of nationality either in the United States, or before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state; or been convicted by a court or court martial of competent jurisdiction of committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, or conspiring to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force, the government of the United States.

    Based on the legal wording, the presumption that there is a declaration of allegiance to the US since it specifically requires the applicant to declare that s/he made no allegiance to any other foreign state. 


    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 7/18/2013. 22:14. 

      This sounds like it in a nutshell!  As a United States Citizen it sounds like it is illegal, from the US perspective, for her to be a member or even an employee of a foreign government; if not illegal, then at the very least, it would compromise her US citizenship. 

    • Anonymous says:

      However that statement is preceeded on the passport application instructions:

      (If any of the below-mentioned acts or conditions have been performed by or apply to the applicant, the portion which applies should be lined out, and a supplementary explanatory statement under oath (or affirmation) by the applicant should be attached and made a part of this application.)


      So, did Tara line out anything and attach an explanatory note?  Did any such condition apply to her at the time she last renewed her passport? The US renewed my passport with a note explaining that I am employed by the Cayman government.


    • Anonymous says:

      "accepted or performed the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state"

      Going by this, no American citizen is allowed to work for C.I.Government!

    • Agree says:

      You bring up a very good point and I hoipe our US Immigration and Tax attorneys are brushing up on the law.

      As an American with Caymanian status, once I get naturalised is my US passport now void?

      How does the US allow a passport for dual citizenships?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, arent we overthinking things a little too much?  This is a country of 55,000 people, 30,000 Caymanians.  People periodically work and or study overseas for various reasons, primarily because the work and educational opportunities are so narrowly focused in Cayman because of its small size.   To get more diverse educational and work experiences, Caymanians have a relatively high proportion of people that spend a period of time out of the country.  That is just a fact.                  So given this, voters can decide whether this experience outside the country is helpful or detrimental. Voters here are very educated on the candidates, many of whom have personal experience with the candidates.   Voters had all of the facts of her background on hand when they made their decisions.   I didnt vote for Ms Rivers, but she was duly elected and should serve.  

    • Anonymous says:

      If Ms Rivers has a US passport because she was born there, that is hardly her fault.  She is a Caymanian with an education gained overseasand all credit to her.  I know who I would rather have in office, given the choice –  someone with a good education rather than one with possibly very little at all.

      I expect there are a great many Caymanians who have US passports and if you are going to rule out from office anyone with one, then more fool you – there are few enough people to choose from anyway without narrowing the choice even further.

      • Caymanian Culture says:

        You are missng the point.  

        No one is faulting her birth right.  What is being faulted is that she CHOSE as an adult to renew her passport for ease of travel and thus accepting the rights of an American with this passport and waivingher rights to run for office in Cayman.  She COULD hve given up her passport on the grounds she wanted to run for office in her home country of Cayman (easy) and then go throught the 6 month process to botain a BPTC British passport and travel to the USA under British citizenship, but she decided to bend the law and that is the problem.  She has studied the law and as much as I think she is a good leader, the law is the law.

        Plain and simple, she should have given up her passport before running for office.  It was easy and clear and the American Govt would have granted her Caymanian visa or honored her UK passport.


    • Agree says:

      It is not about what the voters did, or who we want to hold office.  I like Tara and woulds have voters for her if in my district.  This is about the law.  We DO need to make this clear in a small country of 55,000 people since a lot of people live here from overseas and carry dual passports.

      I am a supporter of Tara, but find it really difficult to believe she kept her passport when she could have given it up. (Didn't Sharon Roulstone give hers up based on the reason of running for office in a foreign country?)


      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, Sharon Roulstone's interpretation of the provisions in the constitution re citizenship was the same as Tara's. Sharon renounced her U.S. citizenship because she did not acquire by virtue of her birth in the U.S. There were at least two Compass articles on this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonym 21:47

      I certianly agree with most of your comments, but whilst studying/working overseas is a beneficial factor to one's self and to the country, laws must also be upheld.  We all, I hope, aspire our young ones to seek exposure in as many facets as possible and Tara should be applauded for her accolades, however if by being overseas working/studying happens to make her not legally resident in Cayman for the preceeding 7 years so be it, sit out this election term and run the next.  I am fearful that this fiasco, win or lose will have somewhat of a nagative impact on her overall person, that being said I strongly feel that any government would certianly benefit by having Tara on baord, she's definitely a breath of fresh air with new ideas…..

      Best outcome to ALL parties……





    • Anonymous says:

      The law is the law. We can't just simply decide not to follow the law because of personal feelings.