Rollover, Immigration top stories

2006 will probably be most remembered as the year of the rollover policy.

Even though the law, which introduced the provision of term-limits came into effect 1 January, 2004, it was not until 2006 that its implications were felt on a substantial basis, and that it seemed to be understood.

The ruling People’s Progressive Movement made it clear from early on that although it was conducting a thorough review of the Immigration Law, it was not considering abandoning the rollover policy, which requires all expatriate workers to leave the islands after seven years unless they are given key employee status, in which case they can stay nine years, long enough to apply for permanent residency after eight years.

The government’s pronouncement that the rollover policy was here to stay antagonised some businesspeople in the community, and at least one media outlet, which ran editorial after editorial slamming the government for its refusal to back away from its decision.

In the fall, a group of anonymous businessmen under the acronym SCARED placed two-week advertising campaigns in both daily newspapers outlining what it thought the ominous outcome of continuing with the rollover policy would be.

After that, Cabinet Minister Alden McLaughlin began regularly berating Cayman Net News for its editorial stance on the rollover party, culminating in his repeated reference to the newspaper, some of its columnists and supporters as ‘the constituency of darkness’.

The rollover policy issue also started affecting the usually calm relationship between Caymanians and expatriate residents. As the rift became more noticeable, Mr. McLaughlin publicly acknowledged that many Caymanians resented expatriates for making them feel overwhelmed in their own country.

In a Chamber of Commerce organised forum on the Immigration Law in October, Work Permit Board Chairman David Ritch put a face on the alleged threat facing Cayman by citing statistics of the number of Jamaican work permit holders in the country, and extrapolating what would happen if all of these people were allowed to stay in the country long enough to get Caymanian citizenship, which would allow their dependents to get citizenship as well.

The Government finished its initial review of the Immigration Law in September and released a white paper Bill to the public for a one-month consultation period.

After some redrafting and changing of the bill, it was circulated to Members of the Legislative Assembly on 7 December. Unable to wait the entire 21 days required by Standing Orders to debate the Bill, the Government suspended Standing Orders, debated the Bill and passed it on 20 December.

Although the PPM Government backed away from some of its proposed amendments and compromised on some others, it did not sway in its stance on the rollover policy.


  1. I totally agree with this letter. It was just featured on TVJ news and they very seldom mention anything about of Cayman on their news unless its major, so you know that’s not often.

    It did not look good, and I cannot believe that people are falling for this same party who was there before and borrowed so much money that the UK had to step in??? are you all really that gullible? How do they know what to do now, but didn’t know when they was in power before?

    They, The PPM implemented the roll over that was passed by the government before, and they agreed to. By so doing ran the people who invested years in the country and spent thousands of dollars, in businesses in Cayman, to bring in people who was looking to scrape and had nothing to spend.

    As I saw online news that they now want the rollover reversed and had the nerve to say that the other Government passed, neglecting to admit that they brought it in to be used in 2006. If you doubt me lookup the rollover policy in Cayman Compass Archives.

    Being mendacious (misleading) to score political points is very unbecoming and I really credit the majority of the Caymanian people with more memory and sense than to fall for that, (I hope). PLEASE do not say I am UDP I’m not, I’m Caymanian and I HATE party politics, as it’s too divisive.

    People please don’t be fooled again, if you want change wait and find some independents to vote for.

    Mind how you all give hungry man, your food to carry!! Remember you all gave them the food before and they threw it away or ate it.

    God Bless you and may God bless The Cayman Islands

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