Editorial for 12 July: Immigration reform: Job No. 1

We imagine the hundreds of families that would otherwise
have to leave these Islands by late October under the current Immigration Law
will be somewhat relieved by the top story in Wednesday’s newspaper.

Premier Alden McLaughlin’s government is seeking a wholesale
reform of the law, including extending the seven-year term limit on foreign
employees’ residence to 10 years and potentially eliminating the key employee
status provisions contained in the legislation. He has said the reform will
take place prior to the 28 October, 2013 deadline now set for those
individuals’ Term Limit Exemption Permits to expire.

The Caymanian Compass supports swift and comprehensive
action to change this law, as the immediate departure of 1,500 to 2,000
non-Caymanian workers and their family members would be a devastating blow to
the local economy at a time when Cayman is already on wobbly financial footing,
not to mention the disruption to so many people’s lives.

At this point, we simply don’t know enough about the
specifics of what government will be considering when the Legislative Assembly
takes up this new Immigration Bill to comment on whether the proposal itself is
a meritorious one. However, we do applaud Premier McLaughlin and his
government’s effort to tackle this critical issue as an urgent priority early
on in their administration.   It’s a step
in the right direction. Let’s hope the government will move forward
expeditiously to bring reasonable, effective and necessary immigration reform.