Public input wanted on immigration reform

| 12/07/2017 | 67 Comments

(CNS): The premier’s immigration ministry is calling on the public to weigh in on the government’s proposed overhaul of immigration through an online survey and a chance to submit their comments. Officials from the new ministry, which is working on the PPM campaign promise to create a National Human Resources Department, revealed that Deloitte has been engaged to provide and assess the survey.

CNS has asked how much the local consultants are being paid for the work, as the easily created survey is a four-part questionnaire hosted by Survey Monkey, and is awaiting a response. Depending on whether the participant is a small or larger employer, a local worker or permit holder, they are directed to a slightly different survey range, from eight to over two dozen questions.

Most questions are about participants’ opinions on the efficiency and efficacy of the existing system, the results of which are likely to be predictable, but there is also an opportunity for comment and direct input at the end of each questionnaire.

In a press release Wednesday, officials said the goal was to get the public to take part in the reform project and help shape improvements to the services offered by the Department of Immigration (DOI).

In his new role as immigration minister, Premier Alden McLaughlin said the survey provided an opportunity for members of the public to guide government on the changes they would like to see to provide a more efficient, customer-centric experience.

“This review is the first of many stages in establishing a National Human Resources Department within the government that will seek to combine the work of the Department of Labour, as well as manage the granting of work permits, while also ensuring that Caymanians successfully attain employment,” McLaughlin said, adding that the review would bolster border security and enforcement.

Encouraging members of the public to share their feedback, the chief officer in the human resources and immigration ministry, Wesley Howell, said the online survey would allow people to express their thoughts and opinions about their relationships with the DOI “and provide details for opportunities and areas of improvement”.

Government is hoping to achieve a shift in the way public services are delivered within each section of the DoI by encouraging stakeholders to provide feedback on what they need to develop a sustainable delivery model of immigration services, a release on the matter stated.

Officials said the survey was structured to collect input in response to various questions, and would serve as an important tool in the process of leveraging public feedback to design the strategic and policy direction for the DoI.  

The issue of immigration remains one of the most controversial issues for government, as no one — employees, work permit holders, Caymanian workers or the unemployed —seems to think it is working for them. Bosses moan about the bureaucracy, inefficiency, time-lines and unpredictability of the system and the law; work permit holders believe it leaves them open to abuse and exploitation, while many Caymanians say the entire system discriminates against them and has been responsible for driving down wages and driving up local unemployment numbers.

There are many aspects to the immigration system, which now goes well beyond border control and to the very heart of the local economy and business community, since the system controls all expatriate labour and the issuance of work permits, which gives it significant power over the entire work force.

While the PPM’s promise to separate labour from border security might be a first step to sorting out the myriad problems surrounding immigration, it won’t be an easy task to find long-term permanent solutions that will meet the conflicting issues surrounding the local labour market and the progression of locals once they are in work.

All information provided by survey respondents will be anonymous and remain confidential, the officials said. 

The survey is available here  

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Category: Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (67)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Jesus Saviour pilot me! After all his years in government Alden has to be totally brain dead not to know what needs to be done to overhaul the system. This poll exercise has to be the biggest pile of dung, for this week, anyway. Alden, certainly you cannot be this stuipd! [Or maybe you are?] Forget the damned poll! Get to bloody work and get something done for Chirssake! You know what needs doing! Fix it!! Hey Alden…if you need a poll to know what the people feel needs doing, you are not only dumb, you are deaf as well! This is yet more evidence that you are just a lost little boy. Try putting your man pants on and FIX IT!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I hope the comments on the survey make more sense than the comments here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The NWDA is a crock of Sh!T and useless to Caymanians. Registration online is impossible if your are applying using a mobile device such as a tablet or cel phone which most people are using now instead of laptops and desktops.

    I have emailed NWDA for help several times. I emailed my documents to them and they have never reached out to assist or even acknowledge my communications.

    As far as assisting with severance pay, the NWDA have been completely useless and allow employers to be non-compliant the labour laws.

    Recruitment agencies scout people from all over the world on LinkedIn. They contact them asking if they would like to work in the Cayman Islands. The temporary permit is granted. The new recruit makes their way to Cayman (without appropriate source of funds to support themselves) and then is handed a Caymanian Compass and told to look for employment.

    I want to know why Immigration grants these permits without confirming the actual positions that these candidates were employed to fill. I remember when I submitted permits for years, I had to list the contracts and the clients of the company where I worked for the permits to be granted. If this is still the practice, then these permits would not be granted.

    It is high time that Cayman learn to be Caymankind to its own people and stop being nice to the undeserving. For those of you of this God-fearing nation who do not understand the difference between Kind and Nice, Kind is being compassionate, loving and giving unconditionally. Nice is an action where you expect something in return and that action is used to manipulate, in government”s case cheap labour and source of funds. So the Cayman Islands government should be more Caymankind to the people who supported them for a lifetime.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I started to fill out the survey, but stopped at the second question.

    It is not the DOI that grants the permits, it is the boards that do that and the DOI have to do what the boards tell them.

    So that is an unfair question in regards to the DOI.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of the boards and let the immigration employees who are trained in immigration work, grant the work permits or PR. Instead of bringing in people from outside to sit on a board to make these decisions who don’t know what they are doing and only care about helping out certain individuals.

  6. Fred the Piemaker says:

    Reminds me of the old joke that a consultant borrows your watch so he can tell you the time, then keeps the watch as a fee. Except that in this case its $143,000 of watches. To end up in the same locked cupboard as the Ritch Report no doubt.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I will lay it out simply :

    Cayman is not large enough for PR applications like other countries are.

    1) If any person commits any sort of crime in Cayman no matter how petty they should be deported to their home country end of story. This includes work permit holders and those granted permanent residency or attained citizenship but were not born in Cayman. It takes a lot of people’s dollars for their upkeep in prison.

    2) Create a job list like Australia for those jobs that Caymanians do not want or for which there is a shortage, whether it be hospitality, construction etc. These should be freely advertised for work permits and granted with ease.

    3) The roll-over should be re-instated. Create it for 7 years with 1 year gap and the ability to return for a maximum of 3 sets of 7 years. Each year the job should be advertised in a newspaper for Caymanian to apply and if they qualify they should get the job. As it stands, proof should be sent to Immigration of Caymanians interviewed.

    4) Take away PR and Caymanian citizenship applications entirely. You can only be granted citizenship if you have over 7 million KYD in assets and own a home here.

    That should cover most problems…

    • Anonymous says:

      1. Are you suggesting that if someone has attained Caymanian status and they receive a traffic violation they should be deported? I think there are some serious human rights concerns with that approach. Also there are people who have status and have given up there original citizenship (e.g. US). What would you do with them? There is also an issue if someone is convicted of a serious crime such as murder and you deport them they might not serve any sentence in their home country. Where is the justice in that? You would release someone who has killed back into the population immediately with no justice for the victim or their family? Extraordinary.

      2. Work permits are already easily acquired for “jobs that Caymanians do not want”. Think Burger King or cleaning offices. The problem lies in the jobs that Caymanians want but may not be appropriately qualified or experienced for. You clearly do not understand the issues and challenges here.

      3. I don’t have any issue with this but you should understand that if there is no path to long term tenure a lot of the professionals currently attracted to Cayman may not invest in the islands or even come here. This will negatively impact the financial services sector and undermine the jurisdiction’s competitive position.

      4. Same thing. You seem to be tying the right to citizenship to financial means. The PR points system already has this provision in place. I wonder if you are also suggesting that those who acquire Caymanian status by marriage should no longer be allowed to do so? That would certainly eliminate some of the marriages of convenience that currently take place and could also alleviate some of the other socio-economic problems that exist in the islands. Other countries (e.g. Bahamas) do not grant citizenship so readily just because one is married to one of their citizens.

    • Anonymous says:

      Glad you said “a lot of people’s dollars” as without income tax the only people who are paying money to government coffers to deal with the prison/roads/environment etc. are permit holders and PR holders – you don’t pay a penny (*apart from the tax on goods which everyone else pays too but this wouldn’t cover even 10% of the civil service pay requirements).. Catch 22 compadre!

  8. Anonymous says:

    what a pile of *#*%$#!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The very first question differentiates between a Caymanian and a Caymanian status holder. There is no difference at all in law so why put that at all

    • Anonymous says:

      My first thought exactly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone explain why a born Caymanian an one who has Caymanian status be the sane. A status holder is granted citizenship, which should be rescinded if they commit crimes and deemed Persona non Grata.

      • Anonymous says:

        Umm, because if you do not have Caymanian status, you are NOT Caymanian. Everyone who has Caymanian status is a Caymanian. It is what makes them Caymanian. The problem is that it seems neither government nor its advisors appear to understand this.

        You are correct that some persons can have their status revoked and others cannot, but that is irrelevant to the question, “are you Caymanian?”

        • Reb says:

          This is so funny! The pilgrims asking the Indians if they are American! Lol. They want to take these islands over real bad!!!!!!! Greedy

          • Anonymous says:

            The Indians wrote these rules, not the pilgrims. All the pilgrims ask is that the rules be applied equally to everyone. What is the problem with that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why? Because neither the government nor it seems its advisors actually know or understand the technicalities of what they are talking about.

      • Anonymous says:

        A bird can fly here and is Caymanian, what about the one that is born here, he has to apply for status? When can I hope to read the definition of a Caymanian. These strange changes and twistings are sheer convenience for people to take over.
        We need people, but not all are here for or good.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure what the survey wants to achieve but the first screen is already discriminatory.
    You’re either;
    “Employee with a Work Permit/ Cayman Status/Permanent Residency with the right to work/ Residency & Employment Rights Certificate ”
    “Caymanian Independent Job Seeker/ Caymanian Employee”

    Cayman Status = Caymanian Whether you like it or not!!

    • Anonymous says:

      12:48 pm would that apply in the US? Commit a crime and see what happens. We need a Donald Trump to drain our swamp.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is not doing the job. This is pretending to do the job. Very busy with lots of work that will have no real effect.

  12. Truth she said says:

    Wouldn’t it be superfantabulous if the public were consulted on all Governmental decisions. Hell this may have saved us millions and have offered solutions to long outstanding issues such the landfill. Hey better yet………..the public could be paid the many millions being spent for these expert consultations which never seem to be utilized.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of time and money – get a grip

  14. Anonymous says:

    Caymanian Government (Leadership)is doing the very same things over and over again and looking for different results. The reason they can’t seem to get anything done is that they are all ready at the top of their game. They can’t do what they can’t do. If its not done by now it won’t be done in the future. The only way any more gets done is if they hire it out to anyone but themselves. Get used to what you have now. As screwed up as it is its still what you will always have.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope in addition to mouthing off here that you take the time to complete the survey to provide objective feedback to the Government. I especially encourage Caymanians seeking employment to complete the survey and provide your comments on your experience with job-seeking in the Cayman islands as a Caymanian.

    • Brilliantly said, 6:15.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Don’t Caymans politicians have any original thought or ideas of their own, why do they get paid ridiculous amounts of public cash when they clearly can’t do their job properly?

    • Who not says:

      So you think an MLA should spend their time twiddling with building a survey on a website? That person may have better things to do.

      Now should a staff member, who is presumably part of the civil service, have some expertise in formulating survey questions and an understanding of how to elicit good information, and not just confirm what they want to hear. You would think that skill might exist.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really, is that your understanding of the point, no wonder you need fresh blood on this island?
        The point being, MLA’s are employed to represent the best interests of their districts and the wider country. They are meant to come up with policy ideas before being elected to their office, it’s called a manifesto. If they are then elected, they can then attempt to pass their mandated policies through the wheels of government.
        Caymans problem is that it elected too many independent MLA’s who don’t agree, don’t have any competent policy ideas and certainly don’t have a national mandate from the electorate.
        Hence MLA’s with no original thought or policies, relying on the public to formulate the policy instead of formulating it themselves and asking the electorate to mandate it.
        That is why they are over paid and basically irrelevant.

        If you carry on down this road, the next step will be the dissolution of elected government and constant referendums where the public dictate the agenda.
        That’s anarchy and it will never work.
        Is that clearer for you.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I completed the survey before seeing this article…and honestly, the first thing I asked myself was why in the work Deloitte was using Survey Monkey! And not even the upgraded version where you don’t see the Survey Monkey brand. Very shabby.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that government asks for public input on many things, but when Dart wants to remodel our Island no public consultation takes place? Government just, behind closed doors, give them what they want.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:35pm they we do as much as they want, but they won’t be aloud to do it as long as they want. Wait until the table turns and they will all have to flee.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sure hope they haven’t paid Deloitte too much for designing this survey. Rubbish. I could have done a better job for half the cost.

    • Tender times.... says:

      Aren’t they the same crowd behind the never working AEIOU portal? And just who is behind the new BO register regime? CD’s and USB sticks? Looks like it’s not just the judiciary looking at 1800’s laws for solutions!

  19. Elfreda Ebanks says:

    Start Here* no more status pr grants.

    • Anonymous says:

      PR, Naturalisation, and Status are three different things at three different intervals with three separate requalification applications, triple medical reviews, fees, waiting times, three “senior standing” Caymanian endorsements, and subjective board reviews. It’s not a cake walk, and respect is due to those that have made the cut using the legitimate apparatus established by Caymanians! It takes close to two decades of continuous residence and demonstrable sustained contributions to qualify – longer, of course, at today’s more recent suspension of legal process. Unfortunately, we are going to loose every PR lawsuit that is filed. PR does not confer a BOTC passport or right to vote.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Bring people in, milk them, send them home. Simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      effectively do what is best for your citizens

      • Anonymous says:

        7:52am in any country your own people should be first, but because of the influence and campaign promises etc., the tail wags the dog. The day of reckoning is in sight.

      • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      If things were in order and they were enjoying the good life, I am sure those people wouldn’t be here. If your homeland is flowing with milk and home, please do us a fovour and book your passage.

      • Anonymous says:

        If things were in order and cayman was enjoying the good life, I’m sure they wouldn’t be bringing people here to work.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is just another government discombobulated effort to fool the people that their opinion matters when in truth it doesn’t. Why on earth would you have a survey of which one or some of the questions are directed at efficiency? As CNS points out, the results are 100% predictable, nullifying the very reason for a survey. Remember….If it looks like a lemon, feels like a lemon tastes like lemon it is without a doubt, a lemon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or perhaps it is smoke and mirrors to justify awarding another $500K consulting contract to one of their campaign contributors – watch this space.

      • Anonymous says:

        Plans, with-in plans, with-in plans…

      • Anonymous says:

        Too true and why aren’t these requests for services put out to tender just like other large Government expenditures? Deloitte and KPMG always seem to be sole sourced for Government projects with no thought/chance given to other providers!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    You have got to be kidding me. How are any of these survey questions supposed to be of help. Clean up these two Departments, have them enforce the law effectively in a fair way and you will be well on your way to rectifying the problems that have been experienced by ALL job seekers/employees.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly…apply the laws…businesses really want consistency. The UDP did a lot of things wrong but at least business understood they had to comply with employment rules and regulations. Then along comes the PPM (specifically Alden and Marco) who are too scared to change laws but instead decide to ignore them with a policy of work permits for anyone that pays. That pretty much secured permits until the people could apply for PR. Those jobs would effectively never be available to Caymanians from the issuance of the first permit. We all realize the surplus from record work permit fees made the PPM’s performance look good but it didn’t help the Caymanian people who are un or underemployed. When Caymanians call foul at the return of the slimy HR machinations of businesses (often through their local immigration/recruiting companies and everyone knows the worst offender there) the PPM’s response was to try to appease the citizens with the completely ineffective NWDA, complete with voluntary business registration. Either Alden is incredibly stupid (I mean borderline challenged) or thinks we are. Now that Marco isn’t there to pat Alden on the back and support his myopic policies, I hope the coalition government is able to show him the struggles of his citizens.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman laws are more like suggestions. They are optional for Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        This “enforce the laws” stuff is nonsense. Which clause or clauses of which law is/are not being enforced exactly?

        • Anonymous says:

          In the case of the NCL, hardly any of it because of the paralysing fear of upsetting someone.

        • Anonymous says:

          The Immigration Law
          The Bill of Rights.
          The Legal Practitioners Law
          The Local Comanies (control) Law
          The Trade and Business Licensing Law
          The Traffic Law
          The Proceeds of Crime Law
          The Pensions Law
          The Labour Law
          The Animals Law
          The Marine Parks Law

          Those are the ones I know for a fact are being openly abused with little to no effective or visible enforcement in many cases. I am sure there are other laws not being enforced, but my experience is limited to these few.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’d say ‘using a government credit card for buying chips in a casino’ but I don’t think there is a law forbidding it.

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