LA paves way for immigration amnesty

| 24/04/2020 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service
CBC Director Charles Clifford

(CNS): A short amendment to the Customs and Border Control Law that was passed by the Legislative Assembly on Thursday paves the way for an amnesty for those who find themselves in breach of immigration rules because of border closures. Government is trying to organise flights for expatriates who no longer have jobs or the right to be here, but the uncertainty of evacuation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need to ensure they are not prosecuted for overstaying.

With the legal change the CBC was able to implement an immediate amnesty on Thursday to people who are overstaying due to the coronavirus lockdowns, which will remain in effect until further notice.

Section 101 of the Customs & Border Control Law 2018 provides the director of the CBC with powers to remove those who are unlawfully in the islands. But estimates now indicate that several hundred people are here without lawful permission to remain.

Not surprisingly, the highest amount of overstayers are from Jamaica, as workers from the neighbouring island make up the bulk of the permit holders in Cayman. Workers from the Philippines are the next largest group of people here without lawful permission, followed by those from the United States. (See the full list on the CNS Notice Board.)

However, another Cayman Airways airlift to Miami has been organised for next Friday to help Americans leave, and next Tuesday a British Airways charter will be taking British citizens home.

“The amnesty is intended to reflect the spirit of compassion and humanitarianism which underpins the government’s approach to policies in response to COVID-19,” officials from CBC said in a release after the amendment bill was tabled in the LA.

The aim of the amnesty is to remove “fear of prosecution” for people who have overstayed their time in the Cayman Islands or are otherwise here illegally, so this does not deter them from making urgent arrangements to leave on one of the special evacuation flights or through any other flight opportunities, the release said.

Anyone who is now stranded in Cayman is asked to contact the emergency travel hotline at 244-3333 or via email at

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Category: Border Control, Crime, Laws, Politics

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Let’s mass grant PR and move on.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I pray from here on out that we be held accountable at our jobs and that we Caymanians do our jobs with honesty and integrity.
    And that we all be our brothers keepers and we seek the assistance we need to keep our borders secured. We have to be wiser than the serpent as we know that the criminals will be seeking our shores more than ever.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As far as I’m concerned Border control/immigration should have been doing their job. Lazy slackers. Hope this is a wake up call for the entire Cayman Islands .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Are Cubans still here?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Any flights to Jamaica? Feel like some will need.

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