EDITORIAL – Absolute Zero: PR applications put in deep freeze

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.

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  1. Many may have their different views about this application/case, however if we want to be like the Jones’s then we live like the Jones’s.
    I believe the banks has on its doors closed at 4. or 30.pm. If I go there one hour later with a deposit or a withdrawal slip of 100,000 thousand dollars will they let me in to do the transaction, or will the point to the sign on the door and say “Look we have been closed an hour ago”
    So that means today is dead and tomorrow brings a new day. Figure it out.

  2. You expats want to feel appreciated and encouraged to stay in Cayman? Simply stop donating your time and resources to local charities. Stop supporting local businesses and buy off-Island when possible. Rent with or from other expats. Stop all that volunteer work and send more money out of the country. Why give your heart and soul to a country whose leaders consider you driftwood ? These islands die without expats in every sense of the word. Hit them financially and you might find them reconsidering their anti-expat actions.

  3. As a long term expat myself I hope I can understand both sides of the issue.

    We have all read about the push back from Danes, Brits and Germans against the “invasion” of their countries by people from different cultures. Yet at most these “invaders” amount to 5-10% of the population.

    We have a situation here in Grand Cayman where native born Caymanians are in a minority in their own country.

    Does that mean that the ex-pats living here are bad people? Of course not. As Bob correctly says ex-pats are the backbone of many local charities. Charities that do not even benefit them as foreigners.

    Did ex-pats come here with some agenda to force their culture on the local community? I am sure not. They do not want to impose Sharia law or anything like that.

    But yet, think about being a minority in the country of your birth.

    I’m not taking sides. Just trying to understand both sides of the argument.

  4. I truly fell sorry for any advice given that are based on, because I cannot have it my way then and change break the rules, then I should dig up my gardenias. When most expatriates donate time and resources to local charities on the island it is not done for nothing, they are looking for something in return. “Been there, saw that”
    I would not one bit discourage anyone to “Take a leap of faith buying off -island when possible because, because “Variety is the spice of life”
    Expatriates do rent from other expatriates on the island; however if they buy off island, I don’t know how they would be then able to rent their properties here.
    Volunteer work is done especially looking for favors in return, “Period” words gets around, and there is nothing wrong with sending your money home, you worked for it.
    Before expatriates came to Cayman, we lived in a different life-style, and a much relaxed happier one for that. Sure we had mosquitoes and many mango trees, but we became immune to mosquitoes bites, and filled our bellies on local mangoes. We had Lots of sharing, togetherness and love for each other. Today we want every thing that has been brought in here, to compete, Seven lotteries gaming, making us hatful and greedy against each other, selfish, and undermining. Crime, robberies, thievery, cannot trust having a house help before they clean you out, cannot trust giving anyone a job before they undermine your business to get robbed. Church scamming and the list go on. Truly we have had our share of ungrateful people who want to change the system to suit them and then turn around and say kick their butts financially. Well if that is not very good want to be citizens advice who deserve Caymanian citizen I don’t see any. We had to learn the hard way truly, “Sorry”.

  5. Twyla…

    I love you to bits, but for heavens sake…listen to yourself !

    This racist and xenophobic rant is un-becoming of someone of your intelligence and standing in the community.

    Are you trying have people believe that Cayman was a paradise without any problems before all these ‘foreigners’ invaded us ?
    Or that all the ills of modern-day Cayman are to placed on the door-steps of people who were not born here ?

    Would all of the modern amenities and life-style that Caymanians take for granted, with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, have been possible had Cayman remained the little village back-water that you seem to be pining for ?

    Please…you are and can do better than this.

  6. Ricardo to say the least, I know where you are coming from and you know where I am coming from and, I am not one bit surprised at your comments, so just let us leave it right there. Some Caymanians think they know it all and every one else is an idiot once they express themselves, that is why we are mostly looked upon as fools by outsiders. Most times you will hear old people say that “Everything good fe eat not good fe talk” You have your reasons for your comments and I have mine.