| 29/10/2013

Thegovernment has acted quickly and decisively by passing the new immigration bill amendments. Anyone who criticised the current premier in the past for being too passive will find the decisive moves on immigration very encouraging. Unfortunately, that's right about where the praise ends. The result of the changes is that any TLEP who fits even vaguely into the middle/low class and is not Caymanian will have to leave.

The lip service that domestic helpers and others should also have an opportunity to become permanent citizens is just that because we all know that getting PR has now become so difficult under the new regime that it is virtually impossible for most "ordinary" folks to obtain it.

What will very likely happen is that several hundred persons will have leave by the end of this year, straight and simple.

And what next?

The government has faced a lot of criticism for introducing the changes by many Caymanians because they feel (ironically) that it doesn't go far enough.

At the same time, there are many expats and their Caymanian friends and family who are registered voters who will have a lot to say to Mr McLaughlin on the injustices of essentially booting out hundreds of Jamaicans, Filipinos and other nationals through the back door.

Unfortunately for the government, in addition to managing to achieve this amazing double negative result (upsetting both the Caymanian and expat groups) they are also likely to fail in their own stated economic policy. Everyone was subjected to the government's argument that losing approximately 1,500 persons all at once would have a detrimental impact on the economy.

It almost doesn't matter what you think about their argument on that front. But if you consider that what they are actually doing (albeit in a far less transparent manner) is getting rid of a large number of workers because most of them won't qualify for PR, then are we not basically back to the same 'economic crisis' problem?

Immigration is a near impossible issue to 'fix' in this country and we should all cut some slack to any government or political leader when facing with the task of crafting solutions for the common good in such a controversial and emotive area.

But when three months of debate among policymakers leads to upsetting Caymanians, expats, the opposition and the so-called Southeast Corner, while risking further damage to the economy (based on their own theory) in one fell swoop, you do have to wonder.

If solving the TLEPs issue was about the economy then we would avoid getting rid of a large group of workers all at once, since that would be disruptive to businesses and cause a loss of wages currently being spent locally.

If solving the TLEPs issue was about protecting Caymanian jobs then we would expect an aggressive attempt to get rid of many expats ASAP, so that Caymanians could get a chance to fill those vacant jobs (if that is your theory).

The truth is both of these approaches are based on short term implications. The real source of the TLEPs issue started over three decades ago when successive governments started down the road of failing to invest in the development of Caymanians (to secure the higher paying jobs), failing to apply adequate enforcement in the face of the most basic immigration and labour breaches against Caymanians (for example those ridiculous classifieds ads that everyone complains about but which continue) and continuing to pretend that Caymanians will become domestic workers, yardmen, dishwashers and toilet cleaners if we give them an extra two dollars an hour or as soon as that "other person" leaves the island.

Our politicians have failed to plan and patched up labour policy along the way while continuing to play the people with immigration politics. Until they craft an informed strategy with medium to long term goals and stick to it, we will be faced with one version of 'TLEPSonomy' or another.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The government should never have messed with the original rollover policy. They should have left it alone and people would have to sort themself out, no problem. But no the previous government had to start tinkering with this thing to appease their voters from a certain segment of the community and now we are here as these new ones try to sort things out. Pure BS.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The solution is to give them 6 months to sort out their lives because that’s fair. Just look at what happened this week already. It clear that these people needed more than a week to get registered properly and it is inhumane to do it with so little time for them to sort themselves out. That’s why we can’t find so many of them. By definition these people are low skilled and likely have lower education and they need support. Be humane people!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The way I see it tleps come and go but we caymanian must stay here and suffer when government makes bad decisions. I am more concerned about the well being of my children than the tleps. When we start seeing a minimum wage then we can talk about fairness for expats.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I live in an apt complex there are 20 apts. Couple of months ago your bosses were replacing you with new work permit holders . So don't hold your breath on that one. Go have a vacation for a year and come back for another 7 years that simple. As some people have said a lot of people already left. 

    Sorry some of you will have to go. But if your bosses would have played fair this could have been alleviated . Can you imagine that over a thousand companies didn't want to pay 5% for pension? That shows the evilness of some of these people who go to church . Disgraceful. Imagine that they come from countries where they pay tax and get an exemption of over 150,000 per year per spouse.Then on top of that they make a profit that nobody knows how much? 

  5. Optimist says:

    Spot on 101 but unfortunately no one is listening. They are too busy fixing the dump, getting us a new port, cutting expenditures and putting caymanians back to work… :—)

    • Anon says:

      trust me optimist they are listening but they don't have the you know what to do the right thing because of politics.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is a decent viewpoint, captures all sides of this nicely. We have to wonder why those ads keep being published, they are so intended for permit renewal. So where IS the enforcement?

    • Anonymous says:

      The ads are being published so that Caymanians can see them and apply. How else would they know if the Ads were not published. If no Caymanians apply, and if the person holding he jobs now do not qualify for permanent residence,( many of them won’t) then the Employers will have to bring in another Expat to fill the position. This is a real opportunity for Caymanians to get theses jobs. Stop criticising and get those applications in. By the way send a copy to the Labour Department.

      • Anonymous says:

        the ads are disingenious..thats actually the point being made. they ask for ridiculius qualifications tailored to the person based ovsreaseas that the employers is already set to hire..

        • Anonymous says:

          Labout and Immigration staff is particlarly looking out for that trick. It won’t be as easy as it was before.

        • Anon says:

          Only because your own successive governments over the last few decades failed miserably to do their jobs and invest in providing Caymanians with the same "ridiculous qualifications".  Quit pointing the fingers at the xpats and the employers and start looking to your own government to be accountable to the Caymanian people and provide the educational facilities and systems that will allow you to fairly compete for the same roles. 

          • Anonymous says:

            20 years experience in dishwashing and all the other ridiculous qualifications that everyone know is a work permit renewal are good examples of running the system.

  7. Anonymous says:

           101,you say that hundreds of Jamaicans and Fillipinos will be booted out as if this is some sort of discrimination ,when in fact Jamaicans  and Fillipinos will be able to apply for any of these jobs not filled by a Caymanian.So what is likely to happen is, these people will be going home and giving some of their countrymen a chance at some of the dough to be earned here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Immigration has created a huge problem now  because these people are hiding….

    • Anonymous says:

      As long as they can still wash my car while they are hiding. . .

      • Anonymous says:

        So you can joke about the fact they wash your car thats fine? thats the main problem with this issue. these people are doing jobs that no local wants to do but yet they are treated like they are stealing cayman jobs. thats not true. it makes no sense either to send them away only to replace them with people we don't know. and most of them cannot become citizens anyway as they won't get the points. i dont see what the big threat is because they cant do any harm to anyone only trying to make a few dollars to send back to their families.

    • Anonymous says:

      Guys the fact they may be hiding is very very serious. It means that they are not accountable and can do anything. Just look at the murder off walkers road sunday night..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ticking Boxes

    As an Expat just about to submit an application for PR, I find myself in a very strange position.  I have been here for 8 years (almost).  I have followed every Immigration rule that has been put in front of me to the letter – permits, key employee, etc. (the latter now worthless I am told – could have saved a few bucks there I tell you).  I own property, I help in the community, I am good at my job, I have trained Caymanians, all my hard earned cash is spent here, my family and I consider Cayman home. I have made so many good friends. I ticked all the right boxes.  

    Not any more.  I am just running up to take my shot and someone has made the goal 2ft wide.  If I had arrived a few weeks' earlier all those years ago, no problem.  Now it is all about how much money I have.  It matters not that I chose to spend my wages helping the Cayman economy – eating out, groceries, furnishing my house without importing a single item, obtaining a mortgage, buying a car (several actually), even using Cayman Airways rather than the other lot when flying to Miami!!  

    No, all that matters now is how much I have in the bank and how much equity I have in my home – at a time when the housing market couldn't get any worse – oh andapparently because my wife and I bought the house in joint names (as you do), I only get half the equity…..  So, I had the ultimate pleasure in explaining to my daughter, who knows nothing but Cayman, that this would probably be our last year here as it was unlikely we would get the points to stay.  

    Of course she didn't quite understand what I was telling her and replied "That's OK we can come back after a few weeks".  "No" I said, not a vacation, forever.  She sobbed.  I am frustrated. We are left, life in limbo, to wait and see how many of the new boxes we tick when the application is reviewed over the next few months.  Do we get to sit down and explain to a person or panel why we should stay here – no.  We just have to tick the boxes. 

    So with life on hold, we hope, fingers crossed, that the ball goes through the goalkeepers legs and we get to stay.  If we do, I will spend more of my hard earned money in Cayman celebrating.  It not, please come to the yard sale.  

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure i follow: if you are Key it means that you will continue to have the presumption of having your permits approved (or at least that is how the boards should deal with it by law).  So it is not true that it is useless.  Secondly, if you are all the things you describe and own property, why is it that you think that you will not get PR?  Curious where you are from? you actually now get points based on nationality (that was always in the law but the board wouldnt give the points provided for in the past, now its mandatory).  Also wonder how immigration works where you are from.  In the UK there is no automatic right to citizenship because youve entered with a work permit and lived there for 8 years.  Would be interested in your response.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am from the UK.  The Key provides me with a term limit, yes I agree.  We did a quick count up and fell short – purely because of the lack of points we can obtain from the "investment" factor in the new points system.  The way that calculation is formulated leaves little chance to gain points unless you own your own property, have paid off most if not all the mortgage and the property is in the $500+k range.  Having bought a modest property 6 yrs ago, it leaves little chance to pay off most of the mortgage so all you can count is the "equity" – then halve it because it is in joint names – that Factor to me seems very unfair iin my opinion.  Simply owning property is not enough now. We do not believe we have a right to live here just because a time limit has passed – just trying to follow the rules put in front of us.

        • Anonymous says:

          I wrote the post u responded to.  Interesting that you own property and now get points for being from UK, in addition to points for your community efforts etc and still do not get through! Im a bit surprised to hear that.  I believe that as everyone now has an opportunity to apply for PR, there needs to be an adequate test to prevent the floodgates being open. Govt could go back to the old system but then they need a quota of how many get PR. We have to try to get the right balance in fairness to everyone. Try we must. 

      • Diogenes says:

        Presumption of having your permits approved!  Yeah, right.  You get them approved anyway if a qualified Caymanian doesnt apply, and if they do you don't, irrespective of whether you are key or not.  So where exactly is the benefit?

    • Anonymous says:

      By reading your post I think you will surely qualify. Your efforts will not be in vain. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made to separate the wheat from the chaff. You sound like the wheat. Every effort has to be made to offer our Caymanian people employment providing they too meet the criteria. Surely you do understand that. Have faith, you sound like an ideal person to have around and I am sure that will ring through to the Permanent Residency Board.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, he is wheat, but the fact is, unless he's between the ages of 26 and 34, from a country other than the UK, US, Canada or the other countries that make up large blocks of the population, was involved in the community by training Caymanians after working hours plus can jump through all of the other hoops, he probably won't get it.  Fact is, very, very few can now. Under the new regime, there could be as few as 25 or less a year getting it. And they will all be rich.

        • Anonymous says:

          I knew there would be a reason I kept my Estonian passport all these years.

      • Anonymous says:

        12:43, you are mistaken.  There is little room for judgment in the PR points system.  As the writer suggests it is almost entirely a "pay to stay" system.  (There are many other criteria but only the financial aspects can get you over the high bar).

        The writer is also right in saying it is grossly unfair for the government to move the goalposts (as he says, towards one another) at this late stage in the game.  

        By the time the government realisesthey have over-reached (as usual) and the system is unworkable (as usual) and changed it again, it will be too late for the good people we have already lost, who will by then be somewhere else creating jobs in competing jurisdictions.

        Your daughter is not the only one weeping.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am in exactly the same boat as you.  Fingers crossed that all of our efforts weren't wasted!  And, by the way, who buys our house if we don't get approved?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Caymankind cronies thank you for appreciating how lucky you were to come to Cayman and will happily point you in the direction of the airport where several flights are leaving daily.

  10. Anonymous says:

    In the quest to try and please everyone, Alden and the PPM have done the exact opposite and managed to upset everyone.

    This is going to be a rough christmas for many, Caymanians and Expats alike. 

    Landlords will have empty properties

    The amount of cars for sale will bring down the prices.

    People wont be shopping for christmas as they will be packing up to go, this in turn will affect the businesses and the workers.

    Cayman does seem to be very good at shooting itself in the foot!





  11. Anonymous2 says:

    101 states, "If solving the TLEPs issue was about protecting Caymanian jobs then we would expect an aggressive attempt to get rid of many expats ASAP, so that Caymanians could get a chance to fill those vacant jobs (if that is your theory)."  I guess 101, you had to word that way. But how in God's name would an "aggressive attempt to get rid of many expats" help Caymanians to get jobs. First of all, it will get businesses, because they have to survive off customers, and when you boot expats off the island that will mean the businesses will have less customers. And then they would have to downsize and have people resign from their jobs, and think of it – not enough money coming in means not enough money for Caymanians to fill the vacancies. It is all connected. I can't see how ridding the island from expats will help Caymanians and Businesses!  By you ridding the country of expats, it will mean less money in the country to circulate and pay people proper wages. If that is PPM's theory then it seems to me that would not be a wise one!  

  12. Anon says:

    but isn't some of these "ordinary folks" the ones doing all the crime?  maybe not all of them but it would be good to get rid of the bad ones right away. still the changes were not done right. it was too rushed and I also agree with ezzard that the law does not go far enough. and i can answer your question about the crisis…there was never any crisis the ppm just made that up so they could pass the law.

  13. Anon says:

    this was an epic screw up by the governemnt on top of an already major screw up by the previous one. now immigration will have hundreds of illegal people running around and they wont find half of them. i agree with something arden said on radio that we should just give 6 months so they could sort themself out and do it that way.

    • Anon says:

      6 months to do what? Thats just kicking the can down the road. If we are going to rid this place if serious crime we must start with these tleps. Yes i may get thumbs down but i am caymanian and wrong is wrong we cant allow them to destroy our country because we have no where to go.

      • Anonymous says:

        sure, go ahead and blame the crime on the tleps now as well. typical..

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 07.42 – What a bigoted, head in the sand eejit you are! I bet you're a rooster lover too!

  14. I hope says:

    I hope the public has learned its lesson with Arden and Ezzard now. I heard them on Rooster this morning stretching the truth and saying that Minister Archer did not allow them to engage the Comissioner during Finance Committee …that is until the Minister called and set the record straight. In reality these two were campaigning and showboating for their followers during Finance committee and when Minister Archer saw that they were only holding up progress he asked them to be brief. This set them off and they left the proceedings in protest to go God knows where but it certainly was not in the LA to do the work they are paid to do. Even MAc stuck around to the end. Now I hear the same two complaining that several Ministries budgets were approved that same night when they were gone. Anyone with intelligence could therefore draw the conclusion that much of the delay in getting Governments work done is due to these two marauders and Government seemed to work much more effectively with them out fo the equation.


    • Anonymous says:

      forget about rooster…..its like groundhog day every day listening to the same broken record……

      not helped by two hosts who are nothing but two cheerleaders for the backward duo of ezzard and arden…..

    • Anon says:

      He who speaks loudest and most often adds the least value ( my personal confucious quote!)

  15. Anonymous says:

    disagree with one thing 101. alden was not decicive about anything as soon as he see the pressure he tried to switch up on us and in the end he will only hurt us caymanians. but its true they did nothing to help caymanians for all these years now trying a bandaid fix.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some Caymanians will never get help or better yet help themselves. That might mean getting out there and finding a job, keeping that job, showing up on Mondays for that job, stop running off their mouths if anyone has to speak to them about not doing a good job. Get in early to do their job. Some of you will complain no matter what. All of the TLEPS jobs will be advertised- get your bums out of bed and go apply!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    clearly what the xx hits the fan around december we will see whether this has had an impact on cayman. i beleive it will hurt us and as the article says it didnt do anything to help caymanioans either.

    • Anon says:

      Merry christmas!

    • Anon says:

      My term limit is not up, but I've sure had enough and I'm getting the hell outa here.  And don't worry, I'll be looking over my shoulder to avoid bumping that plane door on my way out 🙂

  17. Anonymous says:

    yep…somehow the ppm managed to make a bad situation worse……

    time for an official response from the chamber of commerce and tourism association…

    • Anonymous says:

      Errr give that a rest…dont expect too much help from the chamber on anything. Its all for big business my freind.

    • And another Ting says:

      Sorry but you have to wait in vain.  DEm people are the ones who helped to bring this on us.  dem people funded the PPM and now its payback time.  And I must say Funding does not mean neccesarily mean putting money out for them eh.  And Another Ting.