So far this year, 76 people have been arrested for immigration offences — 38 of whom were over-stayers, according to data provided by the Immigration Department.
Fines totalling $50,651 were imposed in 74 of these cases. Over-stayers can face fines of up to $20,000, and imprisonment of up to five years.
The department noted it is in the process of investigating a number of other cases of immigration crime. These include persons who have illegally entered this jurisdiction; persons overstaying their authorization to remain in the Islands; and cases of making false representations on work permits applications and failing to answer truthfully to questions asked by immigration officers.
The most recent arrest by officers attached to the Immigration Department’s Enforcements Division occurred on Tuesday, 29 September, when officers detected a foreign national in East End. After a brief pursuit, officers arrested a man who has been illegally residing in the Islands for over three years.
Senior Immigration Officer Jeremy Scott, warned offenders that officers will continue intelligence-lead operations and that people arrested face prosecution and possible deportation.
‘We are actively pursuing Immigration Law violators and intend to remove persons who have no legality within our borders,’ Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans said. ‘This issue is a serious one for several reasons: It can impact the ability of the legal permit holders as well as Caymanians to find work, and it also raises the question of how the over-stayers are supporting themselves.’
The public may call 949 8344 or visit the offices of the Department of Immigration for more information, or to report any suspicious activity. In addition, the Enforcements Division may be contacted directly at 244 2028 or 244 2051.