Construction sites turn up illegal workers

| 24/07/2018 | 48 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Over the last few months the enforcement arm of the Department of Immigration has been rounding up illegal workers at construction sites in George Town, Savannah, Newlands and North Side. Based on both tip-offs about specific sites from the public and approximately 30 spot-checks on individuals, between 15 May and 19 June officers arrested eleven people for working without a work permit, working outside the conditions of a permit or overstaying, as part of the clampdown on illegal workers. Seven of the eleven people arrested were working on construction sites.

“In several of these cases, enforcement officers were able to react in a timely manner thanks to information provided by the public,” said Acting Chief Immigration Officer Gary Wong, who warned that employers suspected of employing people illegally “will be investigated in accordance with the Immigration Law”.

Wong also confirmed that a wanted man from St Vincent was deported on Thursday, 12 July. The man had been released from jail in the UK, where he had been sentenced for drug trafficking, but had then ended up in Cayman, where he had been working illegally. However, with the help of the public he was arrested at the beginning of this month.

Another known Jamaican offender was also arrested for overstaying as a result of reports made by the public.

In addition to the operations at construction sites, immigration officers also conducted targeted operations at residential locations in West Bay and George Town, where arrests were made.

Thanking the people who helped for their support in tracking down illegal workers, and in several cases wanted individuals, Wong said they were a big help in bringing immigration offenders to justice.

“The Enforcement Division is committed to pursuing persons and businesses found to be non-compliant with the Immigration Law, and we will continue to dedicate our time and resources to keep the people of this country safe,” the immigration boss added.

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Category: Crime, Immigration

Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I know of at least 2 people here on work permits taken out by their friends with no job.

  2. HonestGal says:

    Please have a look at the Landscape industry next. That ‘personal gardener’ some ’employ’ is not always legal . Paying him/her is costing a reputable Caymanian landscape operation an honest day’s work.

    Ask for a permit. Ask to speak to the Caymanian partner.

  3. R We Cee Ree Us says:

    Please let us not forget that the Immigration Law is not the only law not being dis respected. The Labor and Pensions Law are flaunted daily and God help those who go to labor and pensions office for help. Know of an associate who had a matter with a labor officer and he was as useful as 2 teats on a boar hog yet he gets elevated to be some assistant director. We need accountability then enforcement. The laws are in place but there is no proper enforcement.

    Mr. Harris whilst this a positive step, please don’t get too excited as success will and can only be measured once we have successful prosecutions in the courts and these companies and their owners are named and shamed. That said, I am willing to say good work immigration enforcement.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have personally had a horrendous time with Labour and Pensions. Been trying to have a pension transferred for 4 years now and they can’t seem to pull it off. Additionally, I had a terrible “me too” experience with a senior officer there…considering going public now.

  4. WWG1WGA says:

    Wow! Almost like illegal aliens have no purpose in a country due to shady business.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good job, keep up the good work. Losing jobs out here to other contractors who don’t play by the rules and are able to undercut my bids.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Microchip anyone deported in a specific spot so that an alarm will go off in the airport if they come back in and detain ANYONE with a scar in that location until they can be verified via finger prints that they are not a suspected deportee coming back.

    Sounds extreme but how long will this crap continue till such extreme methods are required to be implemented? Desides, they are going to be deported, screw um. They don’t need to be here anyways.

  7. slayer says:

    Business owner here in the construction industry and so happy to hear this!
    Hard to compete with companies that are not playing by the rules and getting away with it!!!
    Employees with no pension, health, insurance and overtime pay. Yet these companies get away with it!
    I have even heard government say if you are rewarded the contractors who have been in trouble in the pass, say if you are rewarded the contract you have to pay up!
    Like one poster said we are an island that has all these laws but no teeth and people just do as they please, because no one will do anything about it! lol
    Cayman needs to be more pro caymanian and support those who are doing a great job and keep the money here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow.. why does this not surprise me? But then if it was up and running someone would complain it violates their privacy in some fashion or stereotypes them and it would have been tossed aside anyways.

      • Anonymous says:

        So what happen to all the other countries that finger print and take pictures upon going through immigration? Doesn’t seem to be a violation of privacy in those countries.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask Star Boy Eric Bush where the fiber printing system is at.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Somehow this must be Dart’s fault…I’m not sure how, but I am sure someone will explain it to me in the comments.

    • Anonymous says:

      You. Are. A. MUPPET.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct, the economic stability resulting in the continued investor confidence and subsequent thriving construction industry is the cause of this debacle. Without Dart there would be no need for illegal construction workers. Entirely his fault indeed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Name and shame the companies who continue to employ people illegally and shame the “true” owners of those companies as well.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Time to weed out the construction companies that cannot operate without cheap labour that they don’t pay pension or health insurance for.

    I don’t have a massive problem with those already on island looking a little “roast” to supplement their low income from their other job, but massive fines for any employer not paying health insurance or pension for every employee is the only way to stop this.

    All we need is one uninsured person on one of those sites to get a serious injury, and all of us will have to pay the expenses of having him/her treated overseas.

  11. Anonymous says:

    They really need to start keeping a database of fingerprints and USE IT IF THERE IS ONE! You can always forge passports but it’s not easy to forge fingerprints.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Round them up immigration lol!! Bracka.

  13. Elvis says:

    Long overdue but come next month there will be no upkeeping of these checks nor any prosecutions, simple.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well done immigration! Or not. It’s about time they started doing what they are paid to do….

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! My company forgot to notify me that my work permit had lapsed even though I’ve been here for years and they took forever to investigate just a little mixup and wasted everyone’s time for no reason and I was back on the job right after. It could have been solved in 1 day but they took a few weeks. They should use their time more wisely and look into the real immigration problems and not a well known company with no previous incidents.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just check the stamp in your passport.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, i’m not going explain the whole story here I was just trying to get the gist out that it was a stupid investigation for a very long time.

          • Anonymous says:

            No offence but isn’t it also your responsibility to make sure your stamp doesn’t expire?

  15. Anonymous says:

    This Island is under threat of becoming a member of the club of Caribbean Disasters.

    Immigration should take the same approach that ICE in the USA does. Hit the hard everyday, no apologies!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Illegal immigration, from third world countries, will only result in the downfall of Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        What are the criteria for Third World, and First World status?

        • Anonymous says:

          Cayman needs to adopt more stringent immigration policies. Make it so you have to be a certified skilled worker and not just good with a hammer, prove you won’t be a burden by having X amount in your bank account from where you are coming from and it has to be transferred AND kept in a bank account locally in your name to prevent the “transfer today for proof then give it back tomorrow” thing. Have the company you are coming to work for prove beyond a shadow of a doubt you are needed in regards to the position is investigated for it’s requirements and that no other applicants were suitable (and those application THOROUGHLY reviewed), they must wait 6 years on a WP before they get PR so if a suitable local applicant comes around then they get a shot at the job and then 10 years as a PR before they get status. Make the PR renewable every 5 years or so. If they bring family (wife/husband) they either have to be held to higher standards if they aren’t coming to work but to be house spouses or the family members have to go through the same process. As for Status? Make them be required to go through a civics test like in America, make them have to learn something about the island and pass a test and then they get Cayman Status. This whole PR point system based on how much property you buy here is f’ing retarded or hell make that part of it.

  16. SMH says:

    LAWS WITH NO TEETH

    I don’t understand the Cayman Islands goveenment, but you have Employers who breached the Immigration Law more than once, even have reports of sexual harassment, under paying workers, disregarding the pension and insurance laws!

    What is it, Cayman?! Are these entities too big to fail?! Why do you continue to allow unscrupulous characters to hold Trade & Business Licences???!

    It should be 3 strikes and your out!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      do not all business owners have to be Caymanian? Why are we renting out our name to foreigners to open a business then not manage the business? We ourselves are letting this happen. have pride and stand up, dont just collect an envelope and then complain our country going to sh..!

      • Anonymous says:

        We are letting expats come here and get Status through the PR point system then THEY as new Caymanians will form their own businesses keeping with the law and keeping “native” Caymanians out.

        • Anonymous says:

          were your ancestors born here? Check history, there is no “Native” as you put it. as a pr holder, i take offence. i have been here long time, paid my dues, follow strict rules, yet the “native” breaks the rules. I pay more to my employees then the competition that are Caymanian owned. i have more Caymanians then the competitor as well. i dont understand. It is Caymanians scamming Caymanians on pay and hiring the cheap workers. clean our own backyard first!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanian, whether by birth or status grant, can own a construction company.

    • Anonymous says:

      1 strike is sufficient

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. However, there are a few civil servants (yes, I can name them but won’t) in labour department and internal audit who have evaded sexual harassment indictments too…

  17. Anonymous says:

    Top work by an underrated team of about 6 officers. Well done! Excellent partnership with the public to act on tips. Police – are you paying attention?

    • Anonymous says:

      The enforcement division is severely understaffed but working extremely hard at their jobs. Keep up the great work as gov moves towards a cohesive WORC department to even better serve the people. The compliance division will be the star of the show.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Companies that hire these persons should be fined heavily and eventually lose their license if it continues. They hire these people and pay them very little and they don’t pay on time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then you wonder why the misfortunate Caymanians have no where to work because companies like these hire illegal immigrants to pay them pocket change to work and, all the while the immigrant shacks up with a dozen others illegals the same thing. Immigration stands by for years while they all collect a fat check sitting on their ass all day long. Welcome to Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      They should be fined and lose their licenses but it will never happen, they are good back scratchers.

  19. Tuna says:

    They need start checking the heavy equipment industry (truck drivers,bus drivers,and operators) I see far to many inexperience operators on our roads and on sites!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Long overdue, now keep it up. Check for fake documents as well, a name change and documents are very easy to get in the countries where most WP holders come from.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Private sector giving the civil service more work and them complain of the costs of the civil service.

    Well done immigration.

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