In recent times I have read many letters to the editors of the newspapers in Cayman with regard to the seven year rollover amendment to the Immigration law.
It is very obvious to all of us that this amendment does not serve the needs of the Caymanian or expatriate.
There are too many unanswered questions and too little study into the long term effects this amendment will have on the culture, economy, lifestyle and standard of living for all interested parties.
There are several motivating forces at work, of which little has been said.
Most important of these forces are the marriage of the UK and EU.
Being a UK territory the Cayman Islands is under a lot of pressure to bring its immigration policies into compliance with the agenda of the EU.
Europe is facing its own immigration crisis.
The problem is that the agenda of the EU addresses issues pertaining to the European members, and these issues do not necessarily require the same fix in the Cayman Islands.
The EU and UK generally view the expatriate community in the Cayman Islands as indentured servitude with no hope of gaining any sense of long term resident status. This view has resulted in pressure being applied upon the Cayman government to offer resident status to expatriates who reside and remain in the islands more than eight years or so.
What is the Cayman government’s response; a seven year rollover policy.
This response is seen as a quick fix to appease the EU/UK interests. The problem that we are now facing is this, does the Cayman government serve the electorate and the general population or do they serve outside interests?
It is not in the best interest of the Cayman Islands to expel responsible hard working people simply because they have been here seven years.
It also does not serve the best interests of the expatriate who has faithfully served because those who have faithfully served deserve a better deal than that.
This rollover policy has been thrust upon both the Caymanian and the expatriate alike by those who probably have never been to Cayman.
The problem facing the government presently is to find a way to sell this amendment to the Cayman people.
The tactic I see most often used is the scare tactic. The expatriate has become the enemy! Make the expatriate go away.
Now emotion is being substituted for intelligence. Strum the chords of the heart and lull the brain to sleep.
If the expatriates are expelled, more expatriates will have to be brought to Cayman to replace those expelled. Who will these people be? Sure they will have to provide a police record, but who are they really? No one will know until they are actually here for a while.
Personally I prefer to keep the fine hard working and responsible expatriates that we already have.
My message to the Cayman government is this, find another way to solve the issue. It might require more work and intellect, but don’t you owe your people the best you can offer?
Take your quick fix and put it where it belongs, in the trash can.
Rev. Dan Shroy