Mr. Patterson caused harm

With reference to Arthur Hunger’s letter in your issue of Tuesday, 26 October, I would like to applaud him for speaking out as he did.

I was born in Jamaica of British parentage and during the upheavals in that country in the late 60s and early 70s I was told in no uncertain terms that Jamaica could do without people like myself and it would be no loss if my family and I left.

I took the warning seriously and came to the Cayman Islands where I had previously served in the financial industry.

The incentive was on an unofficial invitation from the many of our Caymanian friends to return here permanently.

I find it quite strange that a seasoned politician like Mr. Patterson should try so publicly to threaten the government of this country and I can only hope that our leaders will not allow him to frighten them into a reversal of their policy on visas.

Thanks to Dr. Roy, Cayman is today a thriving financial centre, something that we would not have gained if we had remained a dependency of Jamaica and I believe that it is common knowledge among the older Caymanians that prior to emergence on the world financial market, Jamaica did not really have much use for the Cayman Islands.

What I find amusing, if it were no so serious, is the typical Jamaican attitude of trying to frighten people with their threats. In fact that was one of the reasons we left as we were forever being threatened while we were there.

I don’t see why Mr. Patterson should get so uptight as we take in many Jamaicans to work here; as they come under the work permit requirements they are already subject to close scrutiny.

I believe that visas will eliminate a lot of the casual visitors who come for no benefit to the Cayman Islands and are frankly more of a nuisance than anything else.

Only recently a number of us were discussing an element now in Cayman who act in an ill-mannered and hostile manner to the people of this country and appear to have no work. Those we can do without!

Let us not forget that Britain, a country considered one of the most lenient on immigration recently put a visa system in place for Jamaican nationals.

I think Mr. Patterson with his remarks has done more damage to the Jamaican worker here than he can imagine and has increased hostility to them rather than helped their cause.

There are many fine Jamaican workers in this country legally and most of them are the salt of the earth. They work hard, suffer in many cases exploitation and because of the murder and lawlessness in their own country are prepared to give their all when they come here.

Since returning to Cayman some 40 years ago, we have employed two Jamaican helpers; one we brought from Jamaica when we came who went back home after about 30 years of service to us, due to old age, and another for eight years who is still with us.

Those Jamaicans we need and respect, but certainly not the unchecked undesirables who have been coming in ever increasing numbers.

To Mr. Patterson, I say your political posturing has done more harm to stir up discrimination to these Jamaican nationals than you can imagine.

John A. Fleming

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