Immigration review team named

An eight-member team will oversee a review of immigration polices and practices, the Leader of Government Business announced last week.

Among the issues the team will look at are the removal by the previous government of the right to appeal the refusal of key employee status and the removal of residency provisions for entrepreneurs and investors.

McKeeva Bush named Sherri Ann Bodden-Cowan, chair of the Trade and Business Licensing Board, and deputy chair of the United Democratic Party, as the chair of the new immigration review team.

The deputy chair will be Member of the Legislative Assembly Ezzard Miller.

Other members will include Paulette Anglin Lewis, managing director of immigration consultancy Anglin Lewis and Associates, and Irma Arch of Miracle Brokers, as well as two as yet unnamed official ministers or members of government and a representative from Legal Drafting.

Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith and the Policy Advisor to the Immigration Board Christopher Eakin should also be co-opted to assist, Mr. Bush said.

The role of the board would include carrying out a review of immigration policies, procedures and practices, and to make recommendations for changes to the Immigration Law, directions, and regulations in light of the economic issues facing the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Bush said the board would be tasked with giving detailed solutions to streamline the work permit application processes of temporary and annual work permits, and examine the application and enforcement of the Immigration Law.

He said the board would also address ‘anomalies and technical deficiencies’ that have come to light in regard to the law.

Mr. Bush said the terms of reference would include the identification of ‘areas of omission and the removal of certain previously existing provisions in the law by the previous government, such as the right to appeal a refusal of key employee status and the removal of the residency provisions for entrepreneurs and investors, and to consider their reintroduction into the law in an amended form’.

The board will also look at the implementation of business staffing plan provisions so there is an ‘adequate degree of certainty’ for employers in relation to future staffing needs, while at the same time ‘safeguarding the employment, training and upward mobility of Caymanians within the work force’.

The board will produce a report on the team’s findings and recommendations for Cabinet.

Mrs. Bodden-Cowan previously headed another review team during UDP’s prior term.

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