CIG keeping lid on immigration report

| 19/08/2016 | 62 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): A freedom of information request made by a CNS reader for a copy of the review of government’s immigration policy and the new points system for assessing permanent residency applications has been refused as government is maintaining that the document is covered by legal privilege. Issues surrounding immigration, one of the most controversial areas of government, have dominated the local agenda for decades. More recently, the delay in dealing with more than 630 stalled PR applications has been making headlines and prompted the FOI request.

The applicant had asked the premier’s office for a copy of the review undertaken by lawyer David Ritch, from Ritch and Connolly. The locally attorney was commissioned last September to examine the issues relating to the PR process after rulings from the chief justice found the new system was flawed and arbitrary.

Although Ritch is understood to have completed the report, the government plans to keep the document under wraps, claiming it is exempt under Section 17 of the FOI law, which deals with the legal advice given to government. The premier’s office has also refused to say how much Ritch was paid to do the review, which took almost a year to complete.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, whose office holds the report, has said that the document was never intended for public consumption but that he plans to reveal what government intends to do about the issue before the parliament meets next month.

On coming to office, the first move of the PPM government was to change the immigration law to push the term limit for work permit holders from seven years to nine, effectively abolishing the rollover and key employee barrier to PR application. The idea was to allow all workers who stayed in Cayman for up to nine years continuously to apply for PR but to make the application process harder to enable government to control the type of people who would eventually become Caymanian.

However, the points system was challenged in the courts and found to be wanting, and since then nothing has happened. It is almost three years now since the government changed the rollover law and not a single application for PR has since been approved.

Government is now facing significant problems as many of the applicants will be passing their ten-year residency on the island, the line in the sand drawn by the British government for automatic granting of the right to stay. While government has remained largely silent on the issues created by the immigration inertia, just one successful legal claim by an applicant who has been resident here for more than ten years would set a precedent and completely undermine the PPM government’s original goal to control who gets to be Caymanian.

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Comments (62)

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  1. Seen-it-too-many-times says:

    The PR thing will be fixed as soon as Alden & co. move Mount Trashmore to Bodden Town.

    They busy with higher priorities, after all.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only place Alden is going is to farm his property in East End after his defeat in the General Elections next year.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We Caymanians know that with the growth of Cayman we have to employ foreign nationals, but for pete sake why so many of one Nationality? Try getting a job say places like the Hospital etc. Seems like Mama brings Papa Papa brings sister, sister brings brother etc etc.

  3. Wow says:

    The PPm are currently conducting a poll. I hope people think about this story before they answer any of the questions!

  4. Anonymous says:

    And This is exactly why we pull our PR application and left town….with all our money….. To those that jump in to say good riddance, I will reciprocate the sentiment. To all others I will miss you…

    • Anonymous says:

      Good response 9.19. More of the PR applicants need to do this to show how ridiculous the system is (well lack thereof)

  5. Annie says:

    We need to manage, not mismanage, our immigration policies. What the PPM has done is shameful, and has not, in any way shape or form, benefited the people of this Island…maybe that was the plan from the start. It cannot be that they are all that tragically daft. Okay some are, but at least their big Lebowski is very clever.

  6. Big Brown says:

    Always amazed at how many people rush in with all the answers without knowing all the facts. Good excuse to slag off the PPM as usual. So tiresome. Bit like watching paint dry.

    • Anonymous says:

      If it wasn’t the PPM that screwed it up, then who?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone tell me how much it costs to apply for and get PR (aside from your dignity)

    • Annie says:

      What really amazes me is how govt can force us to jump through hoops, force us to pay fee after fee, change the rules constantly, and never, ever, ever live up to their part of the bargain. I am sick of filling out the same damn forms, over and over and over for them to do absolutely nothing. Do they think businesses have nothing better to do than waste time and money on their incompetence? How can you charge an administrative fee if you never administrate anything? It is ludicrous, and businesses and staff are held hostage to the foolishness.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tyrant

  8. Anonymous says:

    The plan is to confuse and frustrate any pr applicants or those subject to rollover by mere inaction and inefficiency.
    This will now bite people in the ass as many more will just leave and travel for a year, return to visit (legally acceptable) and then get their old job back.
    If you can get some good friends to look after any property like I did. I just halved their current rent paid and there was no end of volunteers.

  9. Joe B says:

    This Government has done nothing because they still can not figure out what to do. You need to understand that things like this are beyond their abilities to even comprehend so it is actually better when they do nothing at all.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Seems to me the 630 applicants have no worries. They will get PR, because of the government’s incompetence in decision making. The UK will do it for them. Congratulations to the 630 new residents.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If being on the Island for 29 yrs and returning to Jamaica for one yr for medical reason don’t warrant one to get Pr then I am sorry for those with 9 yrs and so forth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please evidence some education and understanding before demanding some made up right to live in another persons country.

      • Anonymous says:

        Here’s your education. 29 years

      • Anonymous says:

        The government “made up” the right to live here by making laws to enable it, and it needs to hold up its end of the bargain. If it doesn’t like its own process, it should change it going forward, but it shouldn’t just ignore those who’ve done everything they were legally required to do under current law.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Most Caymanians do not want anyone -anyone- to get the right to live and work here. They think they can keep up this lifestyle they have leeching off foreigners forever. But the world has moved on and Caymanians are going eventually to be forcefully told it has moved on. Even if they went independent, it would make no difference. World treaties about the decency we need to show to our fellow human beings will be forced on ALL countries.No escaping it. Sorry, Anthony Eden. Sorry Ezzard.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry but that is simply not true. I am an ex pat from British back from rollover. I was welcomed the last time around, lived and socialised in the community with mainly Caymanians who (once they realised that I did not have an automatic entitlement as they had thought) all wanted me to get residency. But I didn’t waste my time and money applying as I already knew I wouldn’t get PR, so off on rollover I went and now I am back and welcomed by all my friends once again.

      I have said this before and I will say it again. If foreigners do not mingle with the local community and prefer to sit on their pedestals looking down on those who truly belong here – then no matter how much property or money they have; no matter what they do for charities, etc. they should not be allowed to stay. There are more than sufficient people in the middle income bracket who do mingle with the community and assist locals with the kind of help that would never be recognised by law or PR application process. There are plenty who help the Caymanian economy by paying plenty rent to local landlords who are automatically rejected because they own no property, despite the fact that they have sufficient income and savings to look after themselves until death, without ever having to be a financial burden on Cayman.

      I really hope somebody considers this before announcing another daft set of rules.

    • Anonymous says:

      7:26 It will happen when Hell freezes over, do you have the time and ice?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Did Alden personally pay for this report? Our money, our report. No release, no vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not your money but theirs so no. No report. The same guys that told you there was no corruption told you it was your money. Get smarter or stay dumb. That is your choice.

      • Anonymous says:

        Um, are you dumb? Perhaps you should look in the mirror. ALL the money the MLAs earn and ALL the money they spend comes from the public purse – money contributed by everybody on-island by way of taxes and duties. Public money paid for this report and its content are most definitely a matter of public interest.

  14. CIGer says:

    Oh, yes. Freedom of information……… unless CIG doesn’t want you to know. The usual “transparency”. Nothing new here.

  15. Anonymous says:

    630 of those delayed applications will soon be given automatic rights to become Caymanian by the courts. Then there will be even more people fighting caymanians for employment.

    Thanks again Alden and Kurt. As if it’s not hard enough for a Caymanian to get work.

    Good job on protecting me. SMH

    • Anonymous says:

      1. They would also be Caymanians.
      2.They already have jobs and have been responsible working people for at least the last 9 years.
      3.Most Caymanians that can’t keep or find a job here can’t work period.
      4. Get over it.

      • Nat says:

        Why do you feel that you have the right to come here in this country and paint everyone with a broad brush? Not all Caymanians that are unemployed or can’t find a job falls in that category. What you need to talk about is the fact that when people like you fail to see the or even acknowledge, what many Caymanians have to face, when many expats come here and get employed in a company and are put in any position that has any influence in making decisions regarding who gets hired. It’s mostly always the case that those same expats will fight nail and tooth to get someone of his or her same nationality hired in any vacant position within that company, regardless of the fact that you might have a Caymanian who maybe capable and even more qualified to do the job. I’m not against someone who come here to my country to make a better life due to the fact that they find it difficult to make it in his or her country. But I’m most definitely won’t stay silent while people like you come here and are afforded the lifestyle that you are allowed to live here in these Islands, and make the statements or pass remarks that you do.I quote you. 3 Most Caymanians that can’t keep or find a job here can’t work period. 4 Get over it. Not today Bobo.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well said Nat 21/08/2016 @9:15 am

        • Anonymous says:

          Most Caymanians that can’t keep or find a job is means just what it says. It does not mean ALL Caymanians. For every Caymanian not working there are at least 8 that are hard working, responsible, and dependable people who go to work each working day just like the rest of the world. Get over yourself Bobo. Most Caymanians don’t have your problems. Just the ones like you.

    • Anonymous says:

      They will already have jobs idiot, otherwise they could not put in for pr.
      Unless you are demanding one of those jobs, without knowing what it is, just because you are Caymanian.
      Entitled much?

  16. Lo-cal says:

    Read between the lines. This will be another PR/Status grant. After 9 – 10 years the human rights law will take presidence and all 640 applicants will be granted citizenship.

    The only question is where will this loss revenue come from now. Maybe thats what the PPM have been trying to figure out.

    • Diogenes says:

      PR holders keep paying the equivalent fee to a work permit until they get status, probably another 6 years after they get PR. So not to worry, you get to milk the cow for a while yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are now many more than 650 applicants. In addition, many have spouses and children.

  17. Anonymous says:

    PPM = Party Packed w/ Morons

    • Anonymous says:

      UDP. Same circus, Different clowns. Same results or lack of results. Are you really not smart enough to not see this for yourself? Wait. Never mind. You have my pity.

      • Anonymous says:

        As far as I can tell, one party is prone to selling the country for the greatest personal gain, while the other is seemingly content to just give it away for no good reason at all.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Based on his myopic Mr Magoo fiscal policy, I am certain Premier Work Permit Revenue will likely do blanket grant.

  19. Soldier Crab says:

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

  20. Diogenes says:

    The recent Privy Council decision that a wait of 12 months was the very outside of an acceptable time limit for government to make a determination on a citizenship application is also persuasive. Sooner or later CIG is going to get a class action from a group of those PR applicants with more than 10 years on island whose applications have been in for more than a year, and at that point they are stuffed. All 750 plus applicants are going to end up getting given PR when simply processing their applications in a timely manner may have restricted the number significantly, and would have ensured only those meeting the policy guidelines passed. Sad – it looks like CIG would rather let the whole thing collapse and the court impose a decision than justify their own qualification criteria to the electorate. Of course its possible they are simply incompetent too!

  21. Anonymous says:

    If the court cases start, and they will, CIG will probably be forced to release this. If its got bad news in it, get a hold of it, prepare a plan to deal with it and publicise it. Other Privy Council cases have shown that trying to bury and not deal with this is not an option.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Government’s excuse is not even correct. Public money paid for this report so it is the public’s right to access the report. Shady business if you ask me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Individuals have paid for their own applications to be processed. I would say that they have paid for a service yet not gained it. There may well be criminal complaints brought forward as well as litigation.

  23. JTB says:

    Perhaps it’d be simpler if this Government just acknowledged that, politically, it doesn’t want any expat to get PR, ever.

    At least McKeeva, for all his faults, understood that the economy (and government finances) rests on the expat population, and for all his rhetoric made sure that the goose was allowed to continue laying her golden eggs.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Stop playing with people’s lives and sort this mess out. The report was submitted months ago and still nothing, probably because it will state how flawed and discriminatory the points system is.

    • Anonymous says:

      It can be discriminatory. That is what immigration laws and systems are by their very nature, and are necessarily and legally intended to be. They do however have to be fair, rational, transparent, reasonable and, importantly, functional!

  25. Anonymous says:

    More bad news about the self styled Progressives. Just like the recent unfavorable poll results none will be shared with the public.

  26. Pi$$ Poor Management says:

    PPM version of transparency, accountability and good governance on display again for the world to see.

    Pi$$ Poor Management

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