Immigration violators face clamp down

| 02/10/2009

(CNS):  The Department of Immigration said that it is currently investigating a number of cases of immigration crime in the wake of an arrest this week in East End of an individual who has been here illegally for over three years. So far this year, 76 people have been arrested for immigration offences, 38 of whom were over-stayers, with fines amounting to $50,651 imposed in 74 of the cases. The new Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) Linda Evans said that the department would continue its active pursuit of immigration offenders.

Thanking members of the public who have reported illegal activity in the past, she encouraged their continued civic participation. “We are actively pursuingImmigration Law violators and intend to remove persons who have no legality within our borders,” she added. “This issue is a serious one for several reasons: It can impact the ability of the legal permit holders as well as Caymanians to find work, and it also raises the question of how the over-stayers are supporting themselves.”

The department is in the process of investigating a number of other cases including illegally entries to the jurisdiction; people overstaying their authorization to remain in the Islands; and cases of making false representations on work permits applications and failing to answer truthfully to questions asked by immigration officers. 

In the most recent case, officers attached to the Immigration Department’s Enforcements Division detected a foreign national in East End on Tuesday, 29 September, and after what was described as “a brief foot-pursuit”, arrested a man who has been illegally residing in the Islands for over three years. The matter is currently being investigated.

Speaking at a public meeting on Tuesday evening, Leader of Government Business Mckeeva Bush gave his backing to a clamp down on work permit abuse. He warned employers that are holding work permits with no work for those people that the permits must be cancelled.

“This will take effect in two weeks to give those persons who have no work time to get ready to go back home,” he said. “When the economy is back up and running at a much better level, they can be rehired if the employer needs them.  Those employers who have people on work permits with no work should see that it is cancelled.  If not they will be prosecuted according to the full extent of the law and any future prospects of securing a work permit will be jeopardized.”

Senior Immigration Officer Jeremy Scott, who has responsibility for enforcement operations within the Enforcements and Intelligence Division, warned offenders of immigration legislation that officers will continue intelligence-lead operations and that persons arrested face prosecution and possible deportation. Over-stayers found guilty can face fines of up to $20,000, and/or imprisonment up to five years.

The CIO also applauded the action of the officers in this week’s arrest and reiterated the emphasis on addressing the problem of over-stayers.

The CIO said the public may call 949 8344 or visit the offices of the Department of Immigration for more information, or to report any suspicious activity. In addition, the Enforcements Division may be contacted directly at 244 2028 or 244 2051.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I also have had dealings with Officer Scott and found him to be not only very professional and knowledgable but also respectful of the rights of expats. This man is an asset to the Immigration Department and the community at large.

  2. JOELYN SCOTT says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    Until the local people who are benefitting and bringing these people to our shores are identified and brought to justice nothing will change. Stiff fines and or jail time is the only way to get their attention, I don’t expect this to happen but I feel better voicing the opinion.

  4. Anonymous says:

    jeremy scott we need more officers like you digg a little deeper and you will find thousands of illegalls here,thats why we are so over populated,we natives have no where to drive in our own island,i remember years ago enforcement would check down eastern ave.thanks so much linda,jeremy for getting enforcement back out there ,i feel much better now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please excuse me for not being brave enough to put my name but here I go… Immigration/Enforcement please check out areas where young men and women of other nationalities are hanging out from 10:00 AM! These areas include; the building beside two restaurants with the same name (hint, hint) housing a clothes chop at the front and a barber shop in the same building (both legitimate businesses I’m sure) – young men AND women are hanging out behind this building smoking and drinking from 9:00 am some days being extremely loud and disturbing tenants in buildings nearby, a certain ‘jerk’ shop on school road where men are hanging out drinking from early in the morning as well. I just don’t understand.. (and just in case anyone wants to start bashing …I work in the area and have to leave the offices quite frequently for meetings; this is why I am aware of this and have reported this to the relevant depts). Why are these individuals (with accents and dialects very clear for even a young child to understand) ‘hanging out’ these times of the day?? Very clearly they either don’t have work permits or their work permit holders do not have jobs for themat this moment. In any case this means we have people who will have to raise funds to pay their rent and utilities, buy food, etc by any means necessary. Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not tryiong to take any food from anyone’s mouth or table but if you are here on a work permit and cannot find a job then it is probably best that you go home for a while at least until things pick back up. Also, I am by no means saying that aALL illegal activity happening and the increase of violence is solely the fault of illegal immigrants/overstayers/umemployed work permit workers. We all know that Caymanians are already doing a great job of destroying our own. I simply think that it does not help the financial situation to have people out there that are not employed who have the option of being/going to their own homes/country.

    • Anonymous says:

       i know where you are talking about, brave enough to put your name or not that is so true i notice and ask the same question why doesnt immigration go there and check out these people? i say it again what happen to enforcement why have they gotten so carless with going on the streets and checking these people that are sitting around all day doing nothing.get them out of here,lets take our island back they have come here and invaded this from us. some of the expats that i see walking the streets i ask myself and wonder how immigration can really allow those kind of people into our island.

  6. Any says:

    They need to pay closer attention to foreigner marrying caymanians as well!!

    I’ve seen a couple of "marriages" where the spouses don’t even live together, I called Immigration last year to report a "couple" that the wife lived in Cayman Brac and he here, never lived together or even had a relationship, but they are married, last I heard she still living in the brac.

    • Groom Doom says:

      Sounds like a great marriage to me.  Now how can I raise the subject with her indoors.

  7. John Evans says:

    During my two years on Grand Cayman it became quite clear that there was effectively a ‘two-tier’ system of immigration control with some employers able to arrange work permits with a phone call while others had to wait months. Pretty much the same criteria seemed to apply to enforcement.

    Let’s just hope this change means not only proper enforcement but an end to the ‘old pals’ system that let some employers break the immigration laws with impunity while others were hammered for minor infringements.

    I also hope that the new leadership will finally get round to determining that issues like non-payment of medical insurance, failure to pay wages or breaches of the Labour Law can be used to prevent deliquent employers obtaining for work permits.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good. But will you apply it to the big businessmen that lie on applications for permits? Or employ people without permits?

    And can we increase the fines please?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes we have to deport them.  This is a must.

    Our judicial system has contributed highly to the bankruptcy of the Islands.  We keep foreign prisoners at a huge financial sacrifice.  WTF?  Are you people thinking?????

    DEPORT THE FOREIGN PRISONERS NOW!  Don’t take food from our children’s mouths to feed them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  10. Anonymous says:



    It will shock you, but for the whole Island,

    Enforcement staff consist of no more than 8 people

  11. Anonymous says:

     I would like to see enforcement in regards to those who are being exploited, Caymanians and expats, by employers who fail to pay salaries, health insurance and pension.  While some of us turn our backs to this issue because the majority of those who suffer are expats, the reality is that this practice too harms us all.  I would even venture to say that employers who have consistently disregarded the law and the well being of their workers are greater offenders than those who overstay.  

    So, dear Immigration department, as you are now going on an enforcement run, please enforce the part where the legitimate employees are being given that which is mandated by law and are not suffering at the hands of unscrupulous employers whose greed overshadows their own sense of decency. 

    • Anonymous says:

      sound like youre an expat all of you need to get out of here go back where you come from and stop talking about our laws  go change the laws where you come from,try to make your country a better place to live so you dont have take up space in mine.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I agree with poster 9:38 implement the fingerprinting system at the airport it’s been needed for years, it would weed out a lot. Also send them where they came from don’t host them at the hyatt "Northward".

  13. Anonymous says:


    Job well done ,that what  good service to the Cayman Islands people in general will be under your supervision then you have open the right book.

    God bless and keep a true heading.


  14. Anonymous says:

    oh my cant belive that we finally got enforcement back on foot, thank you linda, immigration needed someone like you from so long ago, youre the best.there are so many people that are here on work permits and are going from door to door asking for work and there are so many here illegall.DIGG them out so we caymanians can have our island back and have a better place to live, stop them from coming here and destroying our home. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think the Immigration Dept. in Grand Cayman needs to take a surprise trip to the Brac. With all the strange people here now (supposedly) working, this should be investigated.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well it looks like it takes violence and chaos on this Island for government to start taking action. That is police and the immigration department. Maybe they finally come out of the coma they have been in for years. Both of these government departments are useless and they need to clean house.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Cudos to the Senior Immigration Officer Mr. Jeremy Scott and his team! I have dealt with Mr. Scott in the past and I have the greatest respect for this fine gentleman. He is a very professional, knowledgeable and no nonsense officer and I thought that he would have been chosen as the new deputy chief with full responsibility for the enforcement arm of that department. Mr. Scott keep up the good work, the Caymanian public appreciates you and the great job you do!

  18. 9 Years says:

    Deport them. Don’t imprison them. That just costs the islands more money which the government doesn’t have to spend.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh good – criminals of the world unite. Let’s go to the Cayman Islands where if you break the law the worst thing that happens is they give you a free flight home!

  19. Expat 847 says:

    Good job.  Linda: throw all the violators off the Island so the Caymanians get a fair deal. 

    Violators make even the legitimate expats pay for their unwelcome presence.

    • Liebstandarte Kayman U109 says:

      I believe that the Immigration role in the Islands should be widened and sweeping powers should be given to protect our borders.

      Most countries have effective methods of controlling, monitoring and recording all immigration at major ports so why shouldnt we.

      The only effective way is to ensure that all expats are fingerprinted prior to being allowed in the country.

      Once they are allowed entrance, the following should be enforced: –

      1. They attend their place of work as designated by their permit. No work is allowed outside the existing permit. Permits can be revoked at any time and local replacement shoul be encouraged.

      2. Identification should be carried on them at all times.

      3. Expats should only use certain businesses that impose higher taxes on goods which can go someway to replacing ‘monetary feeding frenzy’ that occurred. All expat goods should only be available from these outlets and subject to higher level of import duties also.

      4.Any house purchase made by any expats should incur higher duty, higher interest rates  and be in specially designated areas where immigration can monitor them.

      5. Undergo full medical examination to include chest xrays, STD tests, financial means tests, provide character references and police clearance certificates.

      6. Any vehicles owned by expats should display licence plates that are taxed on a yearly basis. These should be a different colour to make it easier for the enforcement units to check.This method has been used effectively in Palestinian areas and in the Gaza Strip.

      7. Air for personal consumption should be supplied by the permit holder.

      This, I believe will bring the solution that is finally needed to return the Cayman Islands to it’s true and rightful origins.



  20. The Realist says:

    Good job guys.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great job on rounding up overstayers, but they have stayed over in the hopes of finding work or I think that was their motovitation to overstay.  My question is where are they going to find $20,000.00 to pay in fines, and when I look at the alternative; prison for 5 years, then you calculate $55,000 per annum which equates to $275,000 for 1 person. Now 38 were arrested for overstaying just for argument sake they were each sentenced to 5 years in prison $55,000 x 5 = $275,000 x 38 = $10,450,000.00.  We cannot afford this, I  say deport them, implement fingerprinting system into our Island upon arrival, else they will be back within a month with new identities as they normally do.