Illegal aliens given chance to leave with no fuss

| 01/07/2010

(CNS): With the immigration amnesty now underway, foreign nationals who are in the Cayman Islands illegally are being given a one-month opportunity to leave without fear of prosecution. Any illegal alien who leaves between now and Sunday, 1 August can do so without being arrested. Local employers who are also holding work permits for people with no work will also be free of legal repercussions if they cancel the permits during this period and arrange for the individuals to leave. The Immigration Department said recently that there are more than 250 over-stayers currently on island and the amnesty comes ahead of a planned clamp down on immigration offences.

Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans said this opportunity gives employers the chance to regularise their affairs with staff and those who are here illegally time to depart without fear of prosecution before a beefed up enforcement operation begins in August .
“Persons who are caught then will face being prosecuted or being administratively fined,” she explained. “In either case it would hamper their ability to obtain further work permits from the boards. For the more serious offences, prosecution will be sought and possibly deportation.” 
The maximum penalty for overstaying is a fine of CI$20,000 and imprisonment of up to five years, and the penalties for work permit offences range from fines between CI$5,000 and CI$15,000 and imprisonment of up to one year.
The department has had amnesties in the past but it is almost six years since the last one. It was decided that now would be an appropriate time to offer an amnesty before a planned joint operation with other law enforcement agencies starts in August with the goal of clamping down on immigration offences.
Over-stayers who turn up during this month, at either the immigration headquarters or the ports and inform the officers that they are taking advantage of this will be allowed to depart without fear of prosecution. The amnesty applies to work permits of convenience, persons holding valid work permits but not sufficient work, and illegal landing aliens. When employers cancel work permits for employees that they do not have work for, the employee in question will thenbe expected to leave the territory before the expiry of the amnesty.
The Immigration Department is asking people who are not sure of their Immigration status to go to its Enforcement Section, where checks will be carried out to determine their legality.
 “I urge those who are in a position to take advantage of this amnesty to do so. Those who forego this opportunity will be making a serious error of judgment and can expect to face serious consequences,” Evans said. “Every day we hear countless complaints about immigration offences being committed and the effect that this has on our territory. This is a golden opportunity for Caymanian employers to play a part in reducing immigration crime in their country and I expect that they will act responsibly and turn in work permits for employees that they no longer can provide work for.”
Department of Immigration officers have posted signs in public places to announce the immigration amnesty and the public can call 244-2028 or visit the Department of Immigration on Grand Cayman or the District Administration Building on Cayman Brac for more information.
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Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Governor was told by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands in Warren vs Immigration Board that he didn’t have the power to suspend operation of a law – unless the law itself allows him to do so, for example, in times of Emergency.

    Why does the Immigration believe that it can suspend operation of the law by allowing persons who have broken the Immigration laws of the Cayman Islands to leave the country?

    Why not just declare a year long amnesty on ganja smoking? would that be legal?

    This whole amnesty business needs to be reviewed; or at least require that it be passed by the Legislative Assembly so as to place its’ validity beyond question.

    • Legal Beagle says:

      The police (or equivalent agency) always retain a discretion not to prosecute.  An amnesty is an example of that.  If you don’t like it seek a judicial review – you will lose.

  2. Anonymous says:

    "Persons holding valid work permits but not sufficient work". Only in Cayman. They are here legally, whether they have sufficient work or not, so they don’t need an ‘amnesty"."They’ – these nasty, inconvenient foreigners – dont "hold" the work permits; the employer does.

    Cayman will get off with this sort of stuff for a while longer because we are so Mickey Mouse on the world stage, but eventually the whole Human Rights thing is going to wash over us like a tidal wave and stop some of these legal/administrative abuses from taking place. OK, get the thumbs down going. But we (not even dear old Ezzard) can stop the march of ‘progress’.

    Unless we go independent. But even then the damn UN conventions will grab us by the short and curlies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly my sentiments too. As a Caymanian businessman with a number of work permits holders, who are here legally and for the time being have work I have no intention of cancelling work permits if things get slow as it is perfectly legal for me to give them the option of going home on leave until something comes up. No work today but who knows there could be work just around the corner. Why would you want to cancel work permits when in a few weeks you could get a job and need them to come back. Why should employers, if they have been forced to cancel work permits then have to reapply and pay the exorbitant filing fee and repatriation fee all over again.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is all about the money is’nt it. Civil servants need to be paid so they fabricate all kinds of ways to take more money from you.

        Nive picture XXXX, but I hate the message.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Au Contraire mon frere" – you can only even apply for a work permit if you have a "need".  If you have no need, and have renewed permits, you have broken the law. Similarly, if you have no wrk for persons and  are not providing them with the full monthly paycheck you told immigration you would be giving them, you must cancel their permits. Failing to do so makes you a criminal, and exposes us all to greater risk.

    • Anonymous says:

      I suggest you read the Law and Regulations and if you do not like it, either get it changed or take your arrogance elsewhere.

  3. Jack says:

    Why dont you publish a list of these Illegal Immigrants?   I sure know of a few that is here harrassing people to take out a permit for them and then they run arond begging dollar here and dollar there to durvive.  This should not be!  They are draining the people and the country.

    • Seriously? says:

      And yet you don’t do anything.  You know they’re here illegally as they’re pestering people to take out work permits for them but you do nothing about it. 

      As I see it, that’s the underlying problem with this Island – Caymanians are very quick to gripe about how expats are taking Caymanian jobs and yet, right here, we have a prime example of why and how it’s allowed to happen.  If one puts the onus on others to fix the problem, thereby being part of the problem, you can’t really kick up too much of a fuss now can you?

    • anonymous says:

      To publish names without pictures would be a waste of time –   It would be more logical in identifying a person as there are so many with "Alias"  names.  

  4. Space cadet says:

    I would be worried. Remember what happened to the illegal aliens in Roswell. They did not come out too well.

  5. My2cents says:

    Perfect idea…..drain more population from the island. Get rid of them. Push the prices of second hand cars even lower than they are now…..

    • Anonymous says:

      You want used cars even cheaper? Let everone stay and compete with unemployed Caymanian consstruction workers for the scraps and then watch what happens, um sorry, is happening! Your attitude is what is actually destroying Cayman, whether you realise it or not.

    • Anonymous says:

      It has been said that idle hands are tools of the devil. If they are here illegally then what are they doing to make money to survive???  stealing??? robbing??? working under the table??? All of these situations erode society and I for one feel if they aren’t working they aren’t buying and aren’t contributing to the economy.

      Offer them a free flight home as well and I am sure more will take you up on the amnesty as some probably won’t have the financial means to leave island.

       

    • Here is a thought says:

       What is wrong with cheaper second hand cars?  Unless you own a car dealership.  Supply and demand economics dear sir…..

      I disagree with the Caymanian who thinks it is okay to have idle workers waiting for business to improve!!!  These idle workers still have families to feed and if you do not give them a paycheck (assuming you are in the contractor business) then they will seek revenue elsewhere……

      How many criminals have said they committed crimes to have "kicks"???  No, they say there were trying to feed their families so were FORCED into it.  

      When you apply for a permit it does not say $1200 month for laborer **unless I don’t have work for them**

      It is YOUR kind of Caymanian that holds these permitsfor blue collar workers and domestics that is driving up the crime rate.  YOU, the employer and the KEY to this problem!!!