After taking nearly a year to examine a man’s application for permanent residence, the Cayman islands government rejected it — because it was filed a single day late.
So, one day late for the applicant, one year late for the government.
We’ll allow a moment for that statement to sink in.
As we report in today’s Cayman Compass, Maurice Wilson spent nine years of his life living and working in this country. Then, on Feb. 13, 2015, he filed an application to make Cayman his permanent home. On Feb. 1 of this year, government officials deemed the paperwork should have been submitted Feb. 12, 2015, and therefore the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board had no jurisdiction to consider Mr. Wilson’s application.
In a Grand Court writ Mr. Wilson subsequently submitted, he argues that an “error” — not his, but the board’s — resulted in the application being filed late, and that if he had been allowed to provide an explanation, the matter would have been cleared up right then and there.
Officials, however, apparently would hear none of it. According to the lawsuit, “[Mr. Wilson] was not permitted to explain in a separate letter and provide proof of why his application was filed a day late which shows error on the part of the board [and] could have been corrected in short order.”
Rather than weighing the substance of Mr. Wilson’s application, and whether he as an individual would be a positive contributor to Cayman society, the board found an easy way to say, “No.”
With Mr. Wilson’s case in mind, think back to Chief Justice Anthony Smellie’s landmark ruling last year, where he concluded that the Immigration Appeals Tribunal’s decisions denying a pair of PR applications were substantially wrong and amounted to a “miscarriage of justice.”
Among a litany of reproofs contained in his judgment, Justice Smellie noted “unconscionably long delays” and deemed that the tribunal had “impeded the course of justice” by using materials to judge the applications without allowing the applicants to speak to that material.
Does that ring any bells?
What also may sound familiar is the following observation we have made several times in this editorial space, and which over the years has evolved from hypothesis, to thesis, to practical statement of fact: The Progressives government’s real immigration policy is to have zero immigration.
Mr. Wilson’s story is a clear example of how the new PR system, which took effect in law in October 2013, is purposefully designed to deny applications whenever possible, to delay consideration of applications for as long as possible, and to never, ever approve applications, if at all possible.
Although compelling, Mr. Wilson’s case is just an anecdote. But consider the numerical evidence, which is even more demonstrative: Of the 638 PR applications filed between October 2013 and February 2016, a total of 27 (including Mr. Wilson’s) were refused, and one person withdrew his or her application.
Of the remaining 610 applications, a grand total of ZERO has been approved.
In the meantime, the government continues with its latest stall tactic, the commissioning of a consultant’s report to examine various issues in the government’s own Immigration Law.
The report was due to be completed sometime this spring, but we’ve heard no word about its contents or recommendations. All the while, hundreds of our neighbors, colleagues and coworkers twiddle their fingers, agonize about the futures of their families, and wait, wait, wait.
We all know where this will end — in the lap of the next elected government … with possible detours through the courts.