CBC denies arrest of detained Cuban protester

| 02/05/2024 | 21 Comments
CBC officers not arresting a Cuban protester (from social media)

(CNS): A Cuban asylum seeker who was carried away by a group of Customs and Border Control officers during a small protest outside the government building on Tuesday was not arrested, and his temporary admission to Cayman has been reinstated. Around two dozen Cuban migrants staged an impromptu protest outside the government building because in the early hours that morning, the CBC had raided the Bodden Town Civic Centre (BTCC) and arrested two migrants there who they said had “escaped lawful detention from the CBC Detention Centre”.

As Cayman continues to juggle the arrival of migrants from the neighbouring island, most of whom claim political asylum, revised legislation has given the CBC director the power to reject the claims of those suspected to be economic and repeat migrants and deport them more quickly.

The two men arrested during the early morning raid at the BTCC did not have temporary admission status as they had arrived since the law was changed. They were therefore being held at the detention centre awaiting deportation and were not free to reside on the island.

A number of refugees who arrived before the change in the law are currently living in the BTCC. They all have temporary admission status and are not under detention while their political asylum claims are being processed under the old legislation.

The asylum seekers protesting about the raid said it was handled very badly with disproportionate use of force by the CBC officers. During the protest, a Cuban asylum seeker with temporary admission status who was translating for the protestors appeared to be arrested. According to reports and posts across local social media, he was not doing anything wrong. But when CBC officers arrived to stop the protest due to what they said was a “security risk”, he was taken away.

CBC has insisted was not arrested. However, his removal was documented on video. Officials have said he was taken to the hospital, though it’s not clear what injuries he sustained during the non-arrest. “The individual was informed that their Temporary Admission would be revoked and he would be taken into custody, and this action was carried out,” officials said in the release, despite repeatedly stating he was not arrested. “He was later released and granted Temporary Admission again,” the CBC told CNS.

In an earlier press release, the CBC confirmed that an operation had been carried out in the early hours of 30 April at the BTCC to locate the migrants who had escaped from the official immigration detention centre at Fairbanks.

“The two migrants were arrested and are scheduled to appear in court for escaping lawful custody,” CBC said, adding that this appeared to be the “catalyst for the demonstration” on the steps of the Government Administration Building later that day. At some point before noon, the CBC went to the protest and directed the demonstrators to move away.

“The situation was viewed as a security risk for persons entering and exiting the Government
Administration Building and as such, the migrants were warned to vacate from the front of the building,” CBC said.

It’s not clear why the one man in particular was wrestled to the ground and taken away in handcuffs, and the CBC have not said why he was singled out The Cuban protestors have claimed that the CBC officers had at first threatened to arrest everyone, though the police had previously spoken to them all and asked them not to block the entrance to the building and to move to the side. The RCIPS has confirmed to CNS that they were not involved in any arrests.

Amaury Rodriguez, a Cuban refugee who was granted asylum several years ago, was one of Tuesday’s protestors. He told the Cayman Compass, “This inhumane treatment is the kind of thing that my people are having to deal with when people aren’t watching.”

In the press release, the CBC said that, in line with constitutional obligations and in accordance with the International Convention on the Treatment of Refugees, it provides irregular migrants with accommodation, meals and food vouchers, and personal toiletries, and they have access to medical attention when needed.

Officials confirmed that the majority of migrants who remain on the island arrived before the law was changed in December 2022, and their asylum cases are progressing through the appeal process, including some that are also awaiting Judicial Review.

“The majority of migrants arriving in Cayman thus far have been assessed as economic migrants, which means that they do not qualify for political asylum in the Cayman Islands,” the CBC stated. They explained that the legislative reforms allow the CBC director to certify the applications “as wholly unfounded”, and those migrants’ repatriation process can happen within a couple of months of their arrival.

Before the changes to the law, it could take years to remove the Cubans who are considered economic migrants as opposed to those genuinely in fear of their lives or persecution.

“The repatriation process is conducted in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Cayman Islands and the Government of the Republic of Cuba,” officials noted.

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Category: Border Control, Crime, Local News

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Deport them all ASAP! This nonsense has gone on too long!

    I’ll happily chip in to pay for fuel to send our national carrier full of them back to their home.

  2. Anonymous says:

    All of the Chief Communication Managers in the GAB need to get together and work out some better answer that people like CBC can give when they need to say ‘yes we detained them but technically we did not arrest them because that’s a more serious legal issue’. Otherwise CBC just sound stupid(er).

    Maybe we can say he was helping CBC with their enquiries?

  3. Anonymous says:

    If it’s not an arrest then it’s an assault.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So uplifting to see the good ‘Christian’ people of the Cayman Islands speaking out on this issue with one voice. How so you say – WWJD????

    In what kind of messed up dictatorship is a peaceful protest not allowed?

    I hope he sues for assault and false imprisonment. CBC’s claims are little short of an admission of their guilt. Morons.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:50pm You are probably the same poster that posts anti-christ drivel ad nauseum. Please read the Bible and ask God to show you that he’s real and loves you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    They need to stay in their country and change it. We need to stop bowing down to these people.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have freed yourself from everything human, from customs and decency and from your Christian attitude and want to throw them off like ballast

    • Anonymous says:

      Will see what song you’ll start singing when Grand Cayman disappears under the sea water.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cayman needs to seek compensation from Uncle Sam. This is fallout from the failed embargo maintained as a sop to the Cuban voting community in Florida.

  7. Anonymous says:

    No other country in the world would allow this to happen. They’d be sent on their way as fast as they came.

    • Anonymous says:

      7:48 Cleariy Cayman didn’t let it happen.

      Read the immigration law. The Cubans have not been legally admitted into the islands. So they can be taken into custody at anytime. No need to arrest.

      Well done CBC your actions reminded me of the days when our DG was in charge of immigration. Back then the Cubans would not have dared to protest.

    • Anonymous says:

      maybe you can help the UK get it’s act together

    • Anonymous says:

      7:48 – I can tell you that it’s happening in the US. People always ask why the US gets involved in the business of other countries. This is why… when the crap hits the fan in these other places, their so called asylum seekers end up at your door step.

      • Anonymous says:

        crap hit the fan alot of times because of US involvement. e.g US played and continues to play a crucial part in the economic hardship of Cuba with the embargos they place on it and prohibiting others from doing business directly with Cuba.

      • Anonymous says:

        spoken like a true American. uninformed and proud.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you don’t watch British TV or read British news.

  8. Elvis says:

    The country is going downhill

  9. Anonymous says:

    Not sure what’s the big deal. You can’t show up at someone else’s home and demand things. The same thing happens in the USA. Immigrants show up with demands and some story of their lives being in danger if deported. It’s not understandable why they don’t return to their home countries and demand a better living. Arresting these ungrateful protestors is commendable. Asylum seekers is the latest title for illegal border jumpers. Pathetic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did they take your piece of bread? Shame on you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you offer them your bread or your home or your clothing? No. Then pipe down sparky and cut out your brave virtue signaling shtick along with a couple of other posters who are so so charitable with other’s money but not their own.


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