Cubans awaiting claims accused of working illegally

| 31/05/2022 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service
WORC entrance

(CNS): The Ministry of Border Control and Labour is warning employers not to hire “irregular migrants” because it is against the law. According to a joint press release issued Tuesday by the ministry and Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC), there have been allegations that some of the Cuban migrants in Cayman who are living in the community have been working without authorization as they await the outcome of their asylum claims.

“Migrants who are seeking asylum do not have the permission or right to work in the Cayman Islands while their applications are being considered,” said Labour Minister Chris Saunders. “So it should be abundantly clear that they cannot be legally employed. The law will be enforced in this regard and offenders will be prosecuted. I cannot state it any more plainly.”

While the migrants are currently under the management and support of Customs and Border Control (CBC), their potential employment is handled by WORC. CBC Deputy Director Gary Wong said that migrants who have applied for asylum are not allowed to work. 

“In line with our constitutional obligations and in accordance with the International Convention on the Treatment of Refugees, the Cayman Islands Government provides migrants with accommodation, medical care, food vouchers and calling cards to call home. However, there is no difficulty with migrants receiving financial support from family or friends, local or overseas.”

According to the current immigration legislation, a person who engages in gainful occupation or fails to comply with any condition or limitation contained in a work permit commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction for a first offence to a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for one year. A repeat offender could be fined as much as $10,000 and jailed for two years.

The law also covers employers, who can face fines of up to $20,000 for a first offence or $30,000 for a second, as well as the same jail time.

Anyone aware of employment breaches can send the information to
or complete the department’s online complaints form.

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Category: Border Control, Crime, Immigration

Comments (22)

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  1. Eyes Wide Open says:

    Imagine the sheer number of “illegal immigrant” Jamaicans straight of the drug canoes – working illegally

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully some good mechanics. We need more quality service providers!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Back in the late 1960s & early 1970s, we had a similar refugee issue. I recall one Cuban doctor who arrived in a small boat with a dozen others. They were here for about a year before going to the US. During that time, my father got that doctor a job at GT Hospital (he’d brought all his credential documents with him). A win/win situation.

    He eventually opened a successful practice in Miami.

  4. Lower Valleyian says:

    It shows good will but desperation on their part.
    Offer them an opportunity to help NRA and PWD cleaning up. All the sargassum on the beach, most of the able bodied men will be happy to work.
    Offer a small compensation to buy toiletries, food and other basic needs while they await a decision by immigration.
    Some may really need to send money home as most men are the breadwinners in Cuba.
    Cuba is in a really rough state right now. It may be burdening on us as a nation but they are humans who have no food or medicine in their home country and seek a better life.
    Many Caymanian turtlers and fisherman passed through Isle of Pine years ago, know your roots.
    Food for thought! We are all humans.

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the article. They are already getting allowances for basic necessities, food vouchers etc.
      I do agree on cleaning beaches.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That will teach them WORC. Don’t let them have jobs make them be dependent on government for support.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We should give them temporary permits so they can at least do something while they’re here. Like an “asylum-seeker permit” that allows them to work for a few months. Then Government can work with them and see if they want to stay as full permit holders, be on their way to the US, or be sent back to Cuba. Of course this might be hard to do if many of them don’t have papers to do background checks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. We have enough foreign nationals here artificially depressing wages for jobs Caymanians could and should be doing. The last thing we should do is economically reward people coming here to seek asylum.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re already giving them free healthcare, housing and food for well over a year while their cases are heard.
        I am pretty sure that getting them out there working would be the better solution.
        The Caymanians that aren’t working just don’t want to work.

        • Anonymous says:

          No. The solution is for the civil service to process all asylum claims with all possible expedition.

      • Anonymous says:

        As a Caymanian I must say, half of these jobs work permit holders have, Caymanians don’t want them. I have yet to meet a Caymanian who wants to clean houses or be a nanny. Higher level jobs I can agree with you on, because there are many qualified Caymanians who are overlooked, but lower level jobs they just don’t want.

        • Anonymous says:

          Caymanians are overlooked because if they are too good to take a job offered to work up the ladder then employers don’t want the hassle of depending on them.

          • Anonymous says:

            Work up the ladder why?

            So they can move from their $6.00 an hour entry level job to compete with a Filipino at a $6.00 an hour supervisor’s and then struggle from there to displace a Jamaican manager also at $6.00 an hour?

            Quite a career path, eh?

            And forget overtime. A nice Indian guy is on standby to fill in at $6.00 an hour for any opportunities that arise, so the employer does not have to ever pay $9.00 an hour overtime.

            The problem is not all because Caymanians cannot or will not fill roles. The problem is the unfettered unlimited access to cheap labour.

    • G says:

      you’re out of your mind, aren’t you?

  7. Anonymous says:

    it would appear that nearly every department in government is falling below standard. For example 6-12 months for WORC to review applications, perhaps CIG should hire these people themselves to do the work that the current crop of useless civil servants are so far behind on.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If a doctor in Cuba earns US$30 per month, I would guess that CI$5,000 must be the equivalent of 20 years salary for these migrants.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Immigration should really give them open work permits so at least they can be useful while they wait out their refugee claims. If they can support themselves then there is no need for their stay to cost the government so much.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hope they registered in that God awful WORC portal first.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When was the last time an employer was charged or fined?

    • Anonymous says:

      Elizabeth Chambers. Show prosecution of the century (apart from Skylar). Amazing how effective our robust law enforcers can be when they want. We are corrupt.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Good. Now enforce the law against employers (including voters). And not just in relation to the unlawful employment of Cubans.


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