Leonidas Antolin Ruiz was sentenced to two months in prison and ordered to be deported to his homeland of Honduras Monday after pleading guilty to overstaying and working without a permit in a case that Magistrate Valdis Foldats said was “one of the more unusual immigration cases I’ve seen come before the court.”
Ruiz, who had been in custody since May, said he has been coming to the Cayman Islands for decades, and Magistrate Foldats noted that he had several positive character references from people in the community.
One of those people was a politician, said Magistrate Foldats, but he followed moments later by saying that Ruiz was “taking away jobs from people who are doing the right thing.”
Ruiz, who was also charged with criminal trespass, had apparently been caught sleeping in his car on the property of Arch Automotive. Magistrate Foldats noted that his time in Cayman has been hard and lauded him for pleading guilty expediently, but he said that Ruiz must be held accountable for his actions.
“You’ve been illegal for a very long time,” Magistrate Foldats said to Ruiz before sentencing.
Ruiz, 65 years old, was sentenced to two months in prison, but he would be credited with time served in custody over the last several weeks. Magistrate Foldats said it was “not the usual sentence” he would impose.