Archive for January 23rd, 2011

Rollover must be real break

| 23/01/2011 | 149 Comments

(CNS): One year on Sherri Bodden-Cowan found herself talking once again about the rollover gap on the discussion panel of the CBO conference on Thursday. Now chair of the Work Permit Board, the attorney and architect of the country’s seven year term limit for permit holders explained that any reduction in the gap had to still provide a meaningful time period that would constitute a legal break in stay. speaking to CNS after Thursday’s conference, Bodden-Cowan said that while legal opinion from London said that lawfully the Cayman Islands could reduce the rollover gap to as little as the government chooses, no lawyer could guarantee that a reduced gap would stand a courtroom test.

“We can change the current year break to one as short as we would like but the problem we would face if we reduced the gap to a mere 30 days would be that such a short period could not be considered as a legal break in stay and nothing more than a holiday,” Bodden-Cowan said.

She explained that by reducing the rollover break too much, the country could see the issue that the policy was designed to prevent coming to fruition in several years. Without a real break individuals could realistically remain living and working in the Cayman Islands for as much as fourteen years with only a month’s break. The WP board chair pointed out that it was extremely likely that the courts would find in favour of someone in those circumstances being given permanent residency rights, and that could very easily become a lot of people.

“We have seen examples of nine month breaks that appear to stand the legal test and it may be possible to reduce the break to six months, but that may turn out to be too short when tested in the courts,” she added.

With the advent of the bill of rights, Bodden-Cowan said it was not possible to return to the days when people remained in Cayman for years and years without any security of tenure, and the country could not afford to offer permanent residency and the opportunity to become Caymanian to everyone who would want it.

Despite the continued controversy regarding the policy, Bodden-Cowan re-emphasized her belief that it remains the best way to manage the continuing problem that Cayman faces of balancing the issue of immigration control with the needs of the business community.

“The key employee system is there to ensure those that are needed have a way to stay and can move through the system to become Caymanians,” she said, adding that this was how Cayman could gradually grow the population with the talented people that the economy needs.

Speaking during the panel discussion, she said the policy was no means contrary to growing the economy and the system was the best way to create new Caymanians.

She warned that abolishing the rollover because of its percieved inconveniences would be handing a troublesome legacy to future generations, who would then have to deal with the high numbers of people who would have the right to be Caymanian and therefore make claims on thestate for education, healthcare and support in their old age.

Theo Bullmore, who was also on the panel, described the rollover as a little hobbyhorse of his and he said he has always believed the system was wrong. “I think it’s morally wrong to treat people as disposable," he said, adding that it hurt Cayman businesses, was costly and illogical. Bullman said he believed that it had institutionalised the old Caymainian saying of “I’m here to stay – you here to go” and had created the current divide.
 

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Early morning shooting in GT

| 23/01/2011 | 26 Comments

(CNS): Police say a 19-year-old man was shot in the neck around 2:10 am this morning, Sunday 23 January and is currently undergoing treatment for the wound at the Cayman Islands Hospital, George Town. The shooting occurred at a residence located along Cruz Lane in George Town, according to the RCIPS. The wound is serious but not life threatening, and the victim is expected to recover in time. The motive of the shooting is unknown at this time, and police are appealing for anyone who was in the vicinity of the incident at the time it occurred or who may know of something in relation to what transpired to contact the George Town police station at 949 4222, or call Crime Stoppers 800 8477(TIPS).

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