$2.4 million earmarked for new CBC detention centre

| 10/05/2024 | 15 Comments
Cayman News Service
CBC Detention Centre in June 2022 after a disturbance instigated by Cuban migrants (from social media)

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government hopes to steer another $2.4 million in public spending through parliament for this budget cycle to build a new detention facility for irregular migrants. Cabinet approved the proposal for the facility at a meeting on 30 April. In a press release, officials said the project would “enhance national security” and was a humanitarian response to the increase in the number of migrants coming largely from Cuba.

According to the press release, the decision “follows an extensive process that includes business case assessment, design and engineering, and consultation with detention experts” and is made in consideration of the escalating risk associated with the “potential mass arrivals of irregular migrants” and “the need for a robust infrastructure to manage such situations effectively and humanely”.

Cubans seeking asylum in the Cayman Islands are the most common migrants landing without documents. However, migrant flows in the region are predicted to grow significantly in the coming years due to the impact of climate change, which will drive people from hot, dry places or those impacted by floods and major storm damage.

“The existing Bodden Town Civic Centre, which was once fully operational and intact, has sustained extensive destruction inflicted by migrants, especially from their makeshift modifications on the inside of the structure,” officials stated. “Cementing these concerns is the fire at the detention centre in Fairbanks in September of 2023, which was started by migrants in detention and has rendered the facility uninhabitable.”

There was also a disturbance of some kind in June 2022 at the Immigration Detention Centre.

Collectively, this has highlighted the need for urgent and resilient solutions. Officials said the funding will facilitate the construction of a state-of-the-art facility to securely house and monitor 180 people in permanent structures, ensuring their safety and dignity. The design will include surge capacity to accommodate an extra 144 people in short-term housing, addressing potential spikes in migrant numbers.

“This facility is not only a response to current inadequacies but also a forward-thinking measure that strengthens the Cayman Islands’ ability to manage future challenges in migration,” the CIG stated. “The new detention centre will be equipped with modern security systems and constructed using resilient materials capable of withstanding extreme conditions, ensuring long-term serviceability.”

CNS has requested a copy of the outline business case supporting the project, and we are awaiting a response.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Cayman's last Generation says:

    This is “US” catering to those from elsewhere to our very own detriment!

  2. Richard says:

    The prison is falling down around you all. Our relatives have to live a run down condemned jail?

    New jail when? Haha

  3. Anonymous says:

    Damn ungratiful Cubans stay home and make your country better. If they want to leave then learn English first before leaving. Don’t leave and expect English speaking Countries to learn your Spanish language and culture and make our oCountries like what they left from.

  4. Anonymous says:

    CNS; Any indications WHERE (location) this proposed facility will be built?

  5. Junior says:

    Good god i cant believe what I’m reading.

    Caymans prison is condemn for years now and nothing done. Your keeping our people in squalor conditions. Our own people caged in a nasty building not fit for dogs

    • Anonymous says:

      A few things to unpack here.

      They’re not mutually exclusive. Both Northward and refugee facilities could be improved. Your government has chosen to only allocate funds for one of these projects. Both areas have not been addressed for many years.

      Our own people? Judging by comments on various sites, we’re full to the rafters of foreign criminals, supposedly.

      Lastly, you’re not going to get much sympathy here. Whilst I believe prisons here need to be completely overhauled, I like many, have been victims of things like theft and aren’t too concerned about the plight of criminals on the micro level, whilst I understand the recidivism issues this feeds into, it’s not a priority this second. I’m not in prison, because I’m not a dick.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This press release comes after CMR exposed the poor living conditions at the civic centre that houses the migrants. Why does it take being ‘exposed’ for our government to do anything?????? This has been an issue for many years along with the long processing time. If we don’t want them here and don’t have the resources available, they need to process the applications in a timely manner. Not rocket science…

  7. Elvis says:

    While the twice condemned and falling to pieces prison struggles to survive. Staff working in sub standard smokey overcrowded areas trying to kerp the gamgs and mentally ill apart and safe.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Issue is when their done it’s gonna be 10 Mill.
    And we have yet to have any low-income housing for Caymanians.

    But yeah go ahead and waste more money while not helping Caymanians.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of tax payer money! Stop housing them! Send them back as soon as they land!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Take them straight from the shore to the departure lounge.

    Cayman did not cause Cuba’s problem. At the very least, the USA and Cuban governments should be reimbursing us.

    • watcher says:

      Agree, however it doesn’t work that way. Cuba has agreements in place with the Cayman Islands. Thus, repatriation of each and every person must be negotiated. It isn’t right nor fair that we have to shoulder the cost of their detention, but it’s the way it is.

      I continue to believe that in most cases, we should provide them with basic humanitarian aid — fuel, food, water, and hygiene supplies. Repairs, when necessary. We can’t know the full extent of their misery, however I invite you to wonder how horrible your life would have to be that you would put your family in a pitiful broken-down boat and try to traverse 750-1000 miles of open ocean — some of the deepest waters on the planet. Your family. Imagine having to make that choice.

      Still, they have made that choice, and I believe we should provide them with basic human needs and then allow them to go on their way if they can. I think if Cuba wants to stop us from helping them, then they should pay for the cost of their detainment.


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