Wong takes on expanded enforcement unit

| 22/09/2009

(CNS): The new deputy chief immigration officer will be responsible for strategic oversight of the Immigration Department’s Enforcement Unit at a time when there are growing concerns about crime and increased instances of work permit abuse by employers and employees, a government release states. The department has also recently been granted permission to recruit an additional nine officers for this unit in order to allow for increased operational capability. Garfield (Gary) Wong has been appointed as Deputy CIO (Enforcement, Intelligence and Asylum) with effect from 1 October.

An interview panel that included the present and previous chief immigration officer picked Wong, whose role will also require him to liaise with other law enforcement agencies both in Cayman and elsewhere on issues of mutual interest.

Chosen by recently-appointed Deputy Chief Secretary Franz Manderson, Linda Evans, who stepped into Manderson’s shoes as CIO, and Deputy Chief Officer Eric Bush, Wong brings to his new position significant experience having been an immigration officer for his entire working career. He worked in the Enforcement Unit as a senior immigration officer from 1989 to 1992 and then returned to the Unit in 1994 at the time of the Cuban refugee crisis. The following year he was promoted to assistant chief Immigration officer and he remained with the Enforcement Unit until 2001. He has also spent stints during his twenty-year career managing the airport and seaport border control operations and since 2005 he has been the Assistant Chief Immigration Officer in charge of visa control.

One of Wong’s immigration career highlights was his work with the Enforcement Unit during the Cuban refugee crisis in the early 1990s. His outstanding efforts earned him the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour.

Endorsing the appointment, CIO Evans said, “Mr Wong’s broad experience of immigration generally and his specific experience in the area of enforcement make him the ideal person to lead this very important aspect of our operation.”

Congratulations on his DCIO appointment have also been extended by Manderson, a long-time colleague whose new responsibilities include the Immigration Department. “Having witnessed Mr Wong’s professional development over many years I have no doubt that his skills and experience are ideally suited to his new responsibilities and I am delighted to appoint him to the position of Deputy Chief Immigration Officer,” Manderson said.

In response to his appointment Wong said, “I am deeply honoured by the appointment and I know it will be challenging but I will do my best to serve the people of this country. One of my first priorities will be to focus on removing those persons who have no right to be here including work permit holders with no work.”

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  1. Annoymous says:

    Well done Gary.  I knew that you would one day be given the promotion you so rightly deserved for you consistently hard work. 

    So let me highlight something that you should also enforce now that you have the wheel of the ship and that is

    1. The overcrowding conditions of excessive amounts of persons residing in properties throughout the island.  This is causing neighbourhoods to be degraded by not properly disposing of garbage, and because there are so many vehicles parked at the locations it blocks both sides of the streets  making it hard for emergency vehicles to pass freely.  I am sure you can see the dominoe effect of this if we keep allowing overcrowding of work permit holders. Those Accommodation Sheets must be flagged and addressed for every application. 

    2. There are too many of these Temping Agencies who employ persons and then have no work for them and they are allowed to remain here on island competing for jobs with Caymanians whom are now unemployed.  And also those temping agencies do not pay their staff when they don’t work, so what do  you think is going to happen when they are not earning a dollar from their employer? They have a valid work permit so they are going to source themselves out.  WRONG!! Investigate every temping agency work permit holder to ensure they are working every week.  IF not cancel those permits and send them back home and place those agencies on probation and limit their work permits.

    3. Time to address the housekeepers as many of them are running around with work permits and have no work.  IF they do have a work permit their employer is refusing to pay them but they have to go to work for them every day and even that situation is better than a good day back home.  This is clearly a situation where employers and I might say some of my own Caymanians are doing this evil.  Once you identify these persons, terminate all work permit applications for them and black list them for a number of years from applying for a work permit as a first penalty, thereafter then you can tie them up in charges with the courts.

    I am appealling to the Govt. of the day to give you the resources you need in staff and computerization of records and software programs to produce this date which will benefit your successful running of this dept.  I also want to see you given new arrrest vehicles where you can drive down Eastern Ave or anywhere else in GT and pick up persons hanging around the road looking day work. 

    I am a voter and a supporter of the Govt. and I am appealing to them on your behalf to give you the funding to get this kicked into high gear and clean up the mess of the enforcements relating to Immigration.  GO all out!!  This is the way to protect our borders, and I don’t want to hear another enforcements officer tell me going forward that ‘WE DON’T HAVE THE MANPOWER OR THE RESOURCES TO GET THE JOB DONE" that is a 1932 way of running the country we are in the 2009 and that is the frame of mind we need to be in when protecting this country’s borders.

    Go for it Gary Wong, you have my support and I will be drumming up support for you out here.  IF the Govt. fails to give you the support just let us know and we will make sure they do 🙂

    God bless you in your new job.

    A former school mate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah that’s true but remember that them that have family here or have Cayman conextions don’t even get a chance to stay pass a month,because that’s all they give them ,1 month,while all the other natinalities with or without conextions are giving way too much time to stay here;Then you see them overstaying, because no one is held responsable for them ,them are the ones that start to cause problems,looking for jobs and walking around and wondering all over the place with nothing to do and in most cases they are the ones finding cheap jobs,easy things or bad things to do,because they need to survive,some live in very poor conditions or in groups, in a small place,some don’t even have a place and have to stay with friends that they meet here,some we don’t even know were they live or how or why they got here,is not the ones with relatives that are causing them kind of problems here,is not.Them relatives only comes here to visit and go back home,to share with their entire family ,the little bit of goods or food that they were allowed to take back home.

    About taking the plane to see them,I agree,We all can take the airplane to go visit Cuba or Honduras or other country,maybe,but it’s not the same for the family  that lives here ,to go there to visit them,than for them that lives there to come here to visit their families.Remember that cubans for example,are not allowed to travel around the world like we all do, maybe that one trip to Cayman is the one and only trip that they may take in their lifes.

    Just asking for more time to be giving to them, as it should be for all nationalities,all humans that pay to come here to visit;Especialy the ones that have families and relatives to support them and to be held responsable for them,making sure they take the airplane back home on time and do as they should do while here visiting Cayman.

  3. Anon says:

    couldn’t CNS have posted a better picture…this one sure doesn’t do this man any justice.

    CNS: It was the one sent out with the press release and the only one we have.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you talking about, the picture is clearly of Wong! If you dont like his "normal" looks then so be it.  What do you think this is, a beauty contest?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is this a Wong turn? Sorry CNS could’nt resist

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Gary! Job well done.  Show them what you can do in your new job as you did in your previous post.  Hard-working, understanding, tough guy, but can smile in a heartbeat.  Please stay open and accessible to all people butstand your ground and protect your country. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh my! 🙂  Well, I guess it is finally congratulations Gary!  Now just remember the longer journey it took to get there …. I hope that you will be given the support needed to get the job done pal.

  7. Twyla Vargas says:

    THATS THE MAN for the job, Hard working intellignet and aint afraid to get his feet and hands dirty while working.  Understanding no nonsense guy.   Congrats. Gary 

  8. "Caymanian to the Bone" says:

    Congrats Gary!!!

    In response to comments of you being unfair, continue to do what you have always been doing to serve and protect these Islands. If we had to sympathise with everyone wishing to come here to making better,  and reside with "their" families then we’d be over-populated. 

    There are many underlying issues of which marriages of convenience are taking place daily.  These matters should be addressed quickly.  There must be stiff fines and deportation if deems necessary.  

    I trust you will continue to uphold the Laws of Immigration.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey there my pal Caymanian to the Bone! It is so good to see you posting. Geez I miss you, Converter, Direct Current and all of my old buddies from CayPolitics. 🙂  Wonderful to know that you are still making your contribution out there.

      Congratulations to Gary as well.

      Blessings CB

  9. Anonymous says:


    now hopefully the laws necessary to demand fingerprinting will be taken seriously and passed in an effort to better protect our islands..


    The Customs department has made many changes recently.  Hopefully so will the Immigration Dept.





  10. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Gary!

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s excellent news that Franz Manderson and others saw it fit to "promote from within" the Immigration Department itself, instead of applicants whom are outsiders especially from RCIPS and the private sector.

    Gary has been at the Immigration Department for many many years and knows the "ends and outs" of that department better than any outsider would learn or know, who may have become successful for the position of Deputy Chief Immigration Officer.

    Well done Gary. I’m happy for you and best of luck in these challenging times ahead.


  12. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Gary. Please help clean up the mess and help to enforce our laws that are being abused by so many of all nationalities and all strata of society.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hope he would consider giving all nationalities the same amount of time he gives to the rest of the countries.

    Honduras and Cuba are not in that list,specially people with CAYMAN conextions visiting their families here.


    Consider how expensive it is for them to come here,it seams like no one cares about them and how dificult it is for their families to be able to send them back in such short time and with litle or almost nothing in their pockets,in 1 month is not much the families can give them or do for them.

    At least consider how dificult they have it back home,sone still have no ruff and have little or nothing to wear or eat.Consider that some have never seen their families or even got the change to meet them befor.

    Some  may only travel for the first and only time in their lifes.

    Cuba embassy gives them 3 months to get out of Cuba before their VISA EXPIRES and after here they can live and/or visit here for as long as 11 months as long as they don’t stay 1 day after,still always some one gets this wrong and only gives them 1 month.



    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but you can’t have all your relatives coming here and staying as long as they want.  You know the ultimate goal is to stay and that would cause over population.  Standards here are different and thus why this country is different than those you mentioned.  If you want to be close to your family elsewhere then there is an airplane for you to go there!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Gary you have worked so very hard in the Immigration Department. You are known as a serious crime fighter which is exactly what we need to get rid of some the work permit holders who have no work.

    We are expecting great things from you.

    All the very best.

  15. Joe says:

    Well done Gary, well derserved.