Amnesty begins for illegal workers and over-stayers

| 31/07/2018 | 60 Comments
corruption, Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Department of Immigration

(CNS): The Department of Immigration (DoI) has announced the start of a month-long amnesty that will enable anyone living and working illegally in the Cayman Islands to depart and for local employers holding permits for people that they can no longer employ to cancel them without risk of prosecution. Officials said that while the enforcement division of immigration continues to crack down, this amnesty will begin 8:30 Wednesday morning, 1 August, and will remain in effect until 3:00pm on 31 August. 

Foreign nationals who are here illegally without a valid work permit or any other lawful permission to remain can leave during the amnesty period and workers who are not working for the employer named on their permit will also be allowed the opportunity to depart voluntarily, officials said.

Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith said that during this period, people residing in the Cayman Islands who are unsure of their immigration status will have the opportunity to attend the immigration department, where checks will be carried out to determine their legality. It includes workers who have reached the end of their term limit but who have not left the islands, and also those visiting Cayman who have not sought a visitor’s extension to remain beyond the time authorised.

“I strongly urge those persons who are not compliant with the Immigration Law to quickly utilise the time they have before being identified and subsequently arrested,” Smith said. “Those who forego the opportunity and do not depart voluntarily can expect the full weight of the law to be applied as a consequence.”

After 3:00pm on 31 August, the DoI will actively pursue those persons who have not taken advantage of the amnesty and continue to commit immigration offences.

“I hope and do encourage all concerned persons to make every effort and take advantage of this amnesty. It is important to note that an amnesty is not a pardon from a conviction,” Deputy CIO Gary Wong stated. “During the amnesty period there will be no prosecutions for overstaying offences, if a person takes advantage of the opportunity and leaves the Cayman Islands. This amnesty is a component in a wider effort of the Cayman Islands Government to aid in crime reduction as well as criminal activity.”

The public is reminded that although the amnesty is in place, the DoI Enforcement Division will continue with targeted operations and proactive patrols with partner agencies throughout the Islands. DoI officials explained that anyone here illegally who wants to take advantage of a ‘no prosecution departure’ can simply make an airline reservation and leave during the amnesty period.

Employers and employees who want to cancel work permits can submit written notice to that effect to Immigration Headquarters, at 94A Elgin Avenue, George Town. Employees whose work permits have been cancelled either by their former bosses or by themselves will be required to report to the DoI headquarters with a passport or other valid identification for assistance, or report to Owen Roberts International Airport with a valid ticket for departure.

The maximum penalty for overstaying is a fine of CI$20,000 and to imprisonment of up to five years, while the penalties for work permit offences range from fines between CI$5,000 and imprisonment for one year for a first offence, to CI$10,000 and imprisonment for two years for a second or subsequent offence. Administrative penalties for work permit breaches can vary by occupation and may be as high as CI$187,500.00 for a single breach in some instances.

Anyone with information about immigration-related offences is urged to contact the confidential information hotline at 1-800-Legalim (1-800-534-2546), or email legalim@gov.ky.

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Category: Local News

Comments (60)

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  1. Caymanite says:

    It’s not hard people. If you are born here and so are your parents then you’re Caymanian. H/R managers should know this. If your parents not from here and didn’t have status before you’re born then you’re not Caymanian unless you applied for Status Continuation before your 18th birthday. Elections office checks these facts all the time and if you can’t produce this evidence then you don’t get registered.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm, except you are wrong. Being born here to a parent who was born here is not enough. The parent must be domiciled here, and other factors apply which cannot be determined by looking at birth certificates. If the elections office is doing what you say, then that is really scary.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I am all for this, now lets get a list of Caymans in the US that need to go home, you can enjoy your sinking rock for all we care.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you find more than one, then that would be plenty. Most Caymanians are Americans by birth anyway. Most Caymanians flew to the US back in the day, had their child and flew back to Cayman. That was when it was fashionable to do that. Nowadays many of those same children gave up their American citizenship because the US is not the superpower it once was and only people from poverty striken countries or refugees want to live there.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I predict an increase in robberies and burglaries his month.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Good move Enforcement, for a number of sensible reasons in the context of the ‘big picture’. I hope all these CNS haters are actually playing their part in providing tips …doubt it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So Enforcement not enforcing is a good move…doesn’t seem to be a lot of deterrent to the continual abuses of the system. I would have thought maybe heavy fines for the employers and restrictions on future permits but guess I’m just not a big picture person.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    CI Immigration “aw come on guys quit abusing the system or we’ll…oh geez come on just stop ok?”

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry, Alden and his government are about to make a decision soon that will seem great at the time, but will totally transform these islands.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Hmm. So if you’re here illegally you can leave. Lol. Funny. But if you’re here on a work permit, legally, and your boss is over staffed and don’t want to pay, he can cut you loose. Fair, yes? Lololololol

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  8. Anonymous says:

    In the USA the media calls them undocumented, dreamers or in the country without proper permission. Cayman is correct to call them what they are….persons here illegally.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The hilarious thing, is those very same ones here that want the illegals deported out of Cayman, trash Trump for doing exactly that in the USA.

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  9. Cayman Lost says:

    Learn you got it bro! goes even further than that. Immigration policy and even the enforcement regiment has leaned so far over in favor now of foreign nationals they cannot stomach now prosecuting them on the risk they may not return to our shores to pay their exorbitant fees. The foreign interest has tweaked the immigration law so many times it has become invalid also. The removal of the Cayman Protection board and law was the beginning of the end for Caymanians. They have become virtual ghosts in their own island.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not only have they tweaked to the most liberal policy, they don’t even need to abide by it. Doesn’t hurt if you have a big expanding business party and invite a few politicians.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Why do we always need those amnesties? The law is the law and needs to be enforced. Wrist slapping and lenience has gotten us to where we are so why continue on the same path and expect a different outcome?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree with you. Why is the Amnesty for a whole Month? Why not one week or 10 days? All the people here illegally are now legal until the end of the Month! I say give them one week (and thats’ too long) then round them up and deport them.

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    • Who's who ? says:

      For the same reason you have to prove you are Caymanian, they are clueless who legal from not legal. Easier for having them leave on their own ( yea right) then going looking in the hot sun, also known as Enforcement. What a mess Cayman is in !

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Another admission of incompetence after many years of Alden’s so called leadership of the department of Immigration!

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Governor Choudhury for waking up the sleeping law enforcers.

    AlDart, Franz and Matthew got their wish for the FCO to recall you but in your short time here your demands for “Law Compliant Good Governance” will benefit the Caymanians.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This has absolutely nothing to do with Choudhury…Jesus will he be credited with everything??? It’s really sad some residents do not know or have no desire to educate themselves on the structure of government yet proceed to write nonsense.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Has Trump tried this?
    Might be cheaper than a wall.

    – Who

    😉

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  14. Learn says:

    Question: What does an Amnesty like this one represent?

    Answer: A weak Immigration enforcement agency that needs help, so an Amnesty is a way of say, “we cant enforce law on our own” because we are powerless

    So my recommendation: For the government to devote more monies, resources, and man-power into the enforcement agency! Build up their morale!

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Mr. Smith sounds like he means business, and he’s giving you 30 days to get stuff together and leave , or go to the Immigration and get shit straighten out , or take what you get .

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Go home parasites leave our shores help us save our environment here in the Caymans don’t sign no petition!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Is this:

    A) drawing the bridge
    B) admitting defeat
    C) smoke and mirrors
    D) throwing away the fruit after the last squeeze

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Yeah lift your tail for the employers who abused the system…to hell with un and under employed Caymanians…well done Aldart.

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  18. Trump 2021 says:

    Lock them up! Lock them up!

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Does the amnesty include ghost Caymanians and their employers?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe..does Aldart benefactor employ many ghosts?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I do not know. I do know that anyone who is employing a ghost in the private sector without a formal Immigration permission is guilty of an offense.

      • Anonymous says:

        So what are they going to do if someone does report a ghost or a ghost turns themselves in? Require them to leave? Has anyone actually thought this through?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Rather than thumbing down, please say what you believe is going to happen, or what you think should happen, if an illegal overstayer who was born here 30 years ago and has never lived anywhere else, turns themselves in? There are probably more than 100 people in this position.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What are ghost caymanians?

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      • Anonymous says:

        People that are perceived by themselves or others to be Caymanians, but are not. They include some persons born here to Caymanian parents, and others whose parents became Caymanian after they were born who failed to be the subject of proper applications either then, or upon turning 18. Estimates of their number range from the hundreds, to the thousands. There are indications that a large number are unlawfully working, unlawfully owning businesses, attending government schools, and receiving assistance from the Cayman Islands Government. Some are even voting in our elections without being Caymanian. They are very much a part of our community, but are in breach of the Immigration Law (as are their employers). Legally, many are overstayers or working without a work permit.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Just shows how stupid some of the laws are.

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        • Anonymous says:

          But if you have to show proof from the government that you’re a Caymanian how can this be? So you’re saying companies are just hiring people because they walk in and tell them they’re Caymanian?

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          • Anonymous says:

            Yes. That is exactly what is happening, espescially when someone presents a Cayman passport, a Cayman birth certificate, or says their name is Ebanks, none of which necessarily means they are Caymanian. The problem extends far beyond employers. The schools, social services and even the elections office are treating some non Caymanians as Caymanian.

            • Anonymous says:

              Sorry, this needs to be posted here as well:

              I think if you were born here and you have the passport then you Caymanian Bobo. Let’s all come to grips with the fact that no one here is indigenous, everyone immigrated to the Cayman Islands at some point so if someone’s trying to do good for themselves stop getting in the way of that and make a path to citizenship a lot easier

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              • Anonymous says:

                Simply not true. For more than 30 years being born here and having a Cayman Passport are not enough to make you Caymanian. That is the actual law, not the made up law too many have wrongly followed for too long. Being born here and having a Caymanian passport are by themselves irrelevant to whether someone is Caymanian or not.

              • Anonymous says:

                The law overrides what you or anyone else thinks.

          • Anonymous says:

            The Private Sector requiring proof is the reason this came to light in the first place. The Civil Service has recently followed suit.

            • Anonymous says:

              The private sector leading businesses have been doing it for more than 10 years. Why is the public sector so late to the party?

          • Anonymous says:

            What evidence do you propose a generational born Caymanian should be required to produce given the fact that birth in Cayman and possession of a Cayman Islands passport are not in fact determinative of whether or not someone is in fact a Caymanian?

            • Anonymous says:

              I think if you were born here and you have the passport then you Caymanian Bobo. Let’s all come to grips with the fact that no one here is indigenous, everyone immigrated to the Cayman Islands at some point so if someone’s trying to do good for themselves stop getting in the way of that and make a path to citizenship a lot easier.

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