The Cayman Islands Cabinet believes that expatriate Government employees should also be subject to the seven-year term limit.
Government employees are exempt from the provisions of the law.
Minister Charles Clifford commented on the subject in a written response to questions.
‘I do believe that it will be a fundamental error if we do not apply the provisions of the rollover policy to Government employees,’ he said.
Speaking at the Cabinet press briefing on Friday, Minister Alden McLaughlin agreed.
‘We have very strong views on our part that [the roll-over policy] should apply across the board,’ he said.
However, the new draft Immigration Law amendments, which are expected to be released for public consultation next week, will not include any provisions that will subject government employees to the seven-year term limit.
‘For us to attempt to put this in the current legislation, would have delayed it at least six months, perhaps much longer,’ Mr. McLaughlin said, noting that there would most likely have be extensive consultations with all levels of government before such amendments to the law could be drafted.
Mr. McLaughlin said the government wanted to get the draft amendments passed as soon as possible.
‘The sooner we get this issue behind us, the better,’ he said.
The public consultation period with regard to the draft amendments will only be one month, Mr. McLaughlin said, adding that the Government had to balance the need for consultation with the urgency of getting a new law in place.
‘Until we make the amendments to the Law, we continue to use the old law with all its provisions,’ he said.
Mr. McLaughlin reiterated that it was not the People’s Progressive Movement that enacted the seven-year term limit provisions in the Immigration Law.
‘It’s been in effect since January 1 2004,’ he said. ‘Any changes we are making are to mitigate its effect.’
The new legislation will create a more equitable system with regard to who should and who should not be exempted from the roll-over policy and allowed to remain in the Cayman Islands long enough to apply for permanent residency, Mr. McLaughlin said.