I feel compelled to write you about a situation that is almost unbelievable.
I am a 65-year-old black woman and I have been coming to Grand Cayman since 1975. I had a very well paying managerial job with a major US airline and have been retired for 10 years. My husband and I purchased a home in Breakers in 2001. It is fully paid for. It is our winter home and we have been coming and going for 10 years since we retired.
We arrived for the Christmas holidays as usual and received the 30 days we requested. We discovered some structural problems with our home and I decided to stay an extra two or three weeks to have the problems fixed. My husband had flown home with our grandchildren.
On 24 January I went to the Immigration Office to get the few weeks extension I needed and I was denied! The reason – the Cardinal sin of not being a US citizen. I have been a legal resident of the States for over 50 years but I have never felt the need to swear allegiance to the flag. (Just my personal conviction.)
The immigration officer informed me that I would need a visa for the few weeks extension and I would also need to show my house deed, bank statements, etc., etc. I had five debit cards on my person, but that did not satisfy her demands. They wanted me to pay $95 for a visa and another $65 for the extension fees. I left the office and told her never mind. I intend to fly home tomorrow and fly back down in a few days to finish my house projects here.
For the last 40 years I have spent so much money in Cayman. I have stayed at the Galleon, Holiday Inn, The Westin, etc., etc. I would come about three times a year and I would always be accompanied by eager tourists or airline personnel that were anxious to sample the serenity and beauty of Cayman.
I was a one woman ambassador! It was a slap in the face when that immigration officer said they need proof of how I would support myself the next few weeks.
Incidentally, my husband, who is white, has never had any problems getting an extension here. I suppose their assumption would be that he’s wealthy.
Wake up Cayman! You are about to lose a couple of people that have infused your economy for years. There are other beaches!