CBC detention centre full, Cubans moved to Gun Bay

| 12/05/2022 | 13 Comments
Cayman News Service
Elliott Conolly Civic Centre in Gun Bay

(CNS) UPDATED: Another seven Cubans, including one woman, arrived in Cayman Brac waters on Thursday morning and disembarked their vessel. This brings the number of migrants currently held by Customs and Border Control Service to 170 and the detention centre is now at capacity. As part of its Mass Migration Contingency Plan, CBC officials said that the Elliott Conolly Civic Centre in Gun Bay, East End, is now being temporarily used to house 23 of the migrants who have arrived in Cayman over the last few weeks.

The civic centre in Gun Bay is one of four listed in the MMCP as supplemental short-term accommodation for migrants.

“It was necessary to activate the temporary housing plan,” said CBC Director Charles Clifford. “With the assistance of Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), the Elliott Conolly Civic Centre has been set up to temporarily house some of the migrants while alternative accommodation for migrants is established.”

The Mass Migration Committee met again on Wednesday to work on plans for alternative accommodation to help avoid using the other civic centres to house migrants. Thirty-seven migrants were recently transferred from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman due to insufficient resources on that island to manage them effectively.

Officials said the committee would continue to meet regularly, as required, to discuss and address any migrant-related concerns.

The Human Rights Commission has raised concerns about housing migrants in civic centres because of issues such as the quality and limitations of the facilities. As a result, Cayman officials began placing Cubans in approved accommodation in the community.

In 2018 the HRC challenged the idea of detaining asylum-seekers at all, though the CBS has not said if any of the migrants currently detained have applied for asylum. If they don’t apply, they are regarded as economic migrants.

The HRC is not part of the Mass Migration Committee, which is responsible for implementing the contingency plan, and it is not clear if any members have been consulted about the management of the growing number of arrivals.

CNS has contacted HRC Chair Dale Crowley about the decision to place migrants in civic centres, and we are awaiting a response.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    They are welcome to Gun Bay, Extra business for Ms Viviane’s, win-win all around, leave the people in peace.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a mess and hurricane season a few weeks away. All Civic Centres need to be available for legal residents but starting to fill-up with refugees.

    • Anonymous says:

      These Cubans are costing us millions, like 150 dollars a day each, meantime government giving retired civil servants and old seamen like .32 cents a day. It’s a crying shame.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Plenty made it in without getting caught and telling people back in Cuba to head out.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hurricane Hylton – Problem Solved (And should be acceptable to HRC since housing people is what it was built for, right?)

  5. Anonymous says:

    So that’s why East End needs two Civic Centres. I always assumed it was just the usual CIG extravagance…

    • Crab Claw says:

      During hurricanes, both of them are filled, and EE needs to build another one, they also house Hotel Guest as well during hurricanes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Send them all back to Cuba. I don’t see why this is difficult to get them on a plate and repatriate them.

    CNS: Because even if they don’t apply for asylum (which triggers international law), just putting them on a plane and shooing them away is not an option. The MOU with Cuba lays out the procedure for both governments before repatriation takes place. Note that this is something that Cayman wants and Cuba doesn’t much care about and the holdup is often Cuba dragging its feet in the process.

    Say you fly them to Cuba on Cayman Airways, but when the plane lands the Cuban authorities won’t let them get off. What do you do then? You can’t fly them to a third country because that would be transporting them illegally, which wouldn’t go down well with that country. The only option would be to bring them back, rendering the whole thing pointless.

    • Anonymous says:

      This will only encourage more people to make these dangerous journeys and also put a strain on our tiny community. If more Cubans find out there is a country just 90 miles south that will take them in, we will be inundated with people who are not civilized, very political and large in numbers. It won’t be sustainable. I see this as being a major problem for Cayman in the future.

      Of course, I do feel bad for these people but this is a problem the US and Cuba itself has caused. It is not our fight and we should be very strict towards people who illegally land here. My 2 cents for what it’s worth. Thank you for your fact based and thought out reply CNS.

    • Junius says:

      Thank you, CNS.


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