Today’s Editorial, August 8, 2006: Rollover policy here to stay

Want Government to abandon the rollover policy in the Immigration Law?

Forget about it.

If there was any doubt as to Government’s stance on the policy of sending ex patriot workers home after seven years of service in the Cayman Islands, it has been made clear; the rollover policy is here to stay.

Employment Minister Alden McLaughlin said Monday night at a People’s Progressive Movement meeting that while the draft Immigration Bill is being put to the public for consultation and possible change, the rollover policy won’t be dropped. It stays.

The reason it’s staying is simple. Without it the Cayman Islands will lose its identity.

We agree.

Many Caymanians do feel overwhelmed here at home and some feel resentment toward what they perceive as people coming from other countries to take jobs away from them.

You can hardly tune in to one of the various radio talk shows on a daily basis without hearing native Caymanians calling in and complaining about foreigners coming here and trying to impose their own cultures.

Certainly some businesses are vexed by the rollover policy.

But the policy is in place to protect Caymanians. Realistically ex patriots with expertise are to take on jobs in the Cayman Islands and use their time here to train Caymanians to do those jobs.

If this country can’t find a balance between growth and the reduction of the number of people living here long term, Caymanians will become a minority in their own country.

There are and will continue to be ex patriots who are allowed to stay in the Cayman Islands longer than the rollover policy allows. There are some jobs that require expertise, which Caymanians have no interest in.

The Cayman Islands has grown too fast, too soon in recent times.

We now have more than 50,000 people on our shores; a staggering figure.

So far there are still more Caymanians than ex pats. But if the rollover policy is abandoned, the numbers will reverse.

Many of us can remember this country’s culture before it became so prosperous.

It’s time to make sure we are economically sound, but give the country back to its people

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