Immigration plans public meeting campaign

| 18/10/2010

(CNS): The immigration department has said it intends to meet with the Cayman public at a series of open meetings over the next few weeks. Business owners, permit applicants, frequent travellers, and anyone else impacted by the immigration system will have the opportunity to ask questions face to face and hear presentations on the numerous issues relating to one of Cayman’s most important government departments. The meetings come at an appropriate time with numerous changes planned to the system, many of which have already been implemented. The meetings begin on Tuesday, 26 October, and officials hope the meetings will be informative and, given the current and future immigration developments, that they will receive constructive community feedback.

 “A one-on-one option will allow personal issues and questions to be posed and answered by appropriate staff members,” said Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans. The meetings will allow people to make private enquiries as officials will be holding individual desks meetings before offering a one-hour general and public presentation followed by more general interaction.
Evans explained that line officers will take the lead at the booths, representing areas ranging from front-counter and visa sections, to business staffing plans and the status/permanent residence boards. However, Evans said she will also be present, as will the three Deputy CIOs – Bruce Smith (Border Control); Samantha Bennett (Administration), and Gary Wong (Enforcement).
All meetings start at 5:30pm until 9pm and the schedule is as follows:
West Bay: Tuesday, 26 October Sir John A Cumber Shirley Kidd Memorial Hall
East End: Wednesday, 27 October at the William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre
Savannah: Thursday, 28 October at Savannah Primary School
Bodden Town: Monday, 1 November at the Bodden Town Civic Centre
North Side: Tuesday, 2 November at the Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre
George Town: Wednesday, 3 November at the John Gray High School Hall
Cayman Brac: Thursday, 4 November at the Aston Rutty Centre.
Officials pointed out that answers to many immigration queries may already be available and the public is encouraged to prepare ahead by first checking data on basic enquiries on the department’s website:
The new immigration enforcement hotline (1-800-534 2546) and email address ( may also be used by members of the public wishing to provide confidential anonymous information to the enforcement unit.
Meanwhile, seven new recruits joined the department and by February will help to ease some of the department’s serious staff shortages. Required to have a command of local laws as well as an understanding of human behaviour, the officers must be versed in geography, psychology and sociology in relation to their role not only as guardian’s of the country’s boarders, but intrinsic to its labour supply as well. During their first week of induction the Chief Immigration Officer said if they got their job right at the entry ports they could reduce the issues the enforcement unit has to face.  
Former Immigration Chief Franz Manderson summed up the impact immigration officers can have when he told the recruits said, “You have the ability to make,or ruin a person’s day or stay.” The seven new recruits are Jesanna Mencia, Sheria Goff, Alice Edwards, Harry Forbes, Floyd Shaw, Abel Medina and Javin Powery.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    I want my, I want my, I want my Repatriation Fee. That’s the way they do it, take your money for nothing and give you ‘zip’ for free!

  2. Alan Nivia says:

    I love the phoneline – it gets more like the Stasi every day.

  3. No expert on this but.. says:

    "the Department’s serious staff shortages"?? Do me a favour, we have lost thousands of work permit holders & their dependants, and Immigration’s work load is a fraction of what it was 2 or 3 yrs ago… I doubt more than a handful of staff have left, because there are no jobs to go to! In my experience the processing-service Immigration provides is no faster than 3 years ago, & with one or two notable and welcome exceptions its general staff attitude is best described as obstructive, at a time when the country needs it to help the private sector more than ever.

    Blaming "serious staff shortages" whenever employers complain is a red herring. With the slump in the economy there are surely more than a few civil servants in other departments with little to do. If Immigration genuinely has serious staff shortages (I dont belive it does) why doesnt the civil service reallocate staff instead of hiring externally?

    While I’m on the subject Mr Bush, what specific measures have you taken to reduce public expenditure? Have surplus civil servants been released or capital projects reigned in?  Radio Cayman, Computer Services, Public Works etc privatised? Or spare Government owned vacant land offered for sale? I thought that was the summary findings of the Miller Report…?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great! Perhaps they can explain what happens to "Repatriaton Fees" now that they are non-refundable for certain categories of employees. 

    CNS, this is worth investigating. Please.

    • Anonymous says:

      They never can answer that question.  It has been asked for years…it goes into the coffers….lol….

    • Robert says:

      You mean you want a refund on a non refundable repat fee of $200. Come on give the Government a break.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That’s great I will be there to ask my questions.  Thank you