2 more Cuban migrants released

Cuban migrants are being housed at the Immigration Detention Centre in George Town. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

Two more Cuban migrants have been released from the Immigration Detention Centre, bringing the total number of migrants on supervised release to five.

The migrants are living in the Cayman community while their applications for asylum are processed.

The releases come after the Department of Immigration announced earlier this month that it is “reviewing alternatives” to keeping the 13 asylum-seeking Cuban migrants detained at the Immigration Detention Centre.

The Cayman Compass learned of the latest two releases from sources. The newspaper contacted the Immigration Department for official confirmation, but had not received a response by press time Monday.

The department stated earlier that given the delays in finalizing the detainees’ immigration status – five men in the center had been detained for more than two years, and six others had been detained for more than one year – the acting chief immigration officer has “agreed to review the continued detention of the migrants.”

However, in reviewing their detention, any potential risks posed to the community by their release will be the paramount consideration, the immigration department stated.

Some of the migrants had been conducting a hunger strike in protest of their prolonged detainment, as well as the conditions at the detention center. The Human Rights Commission also criticized the conditions there, finding rotten food, dirty and stopped-up toilets, moldy or damaged showers and inadequate fire prevention systems when inspecting the center earlier this month.

When the first three migrants were released on July 13, one Cuban told the Compass that the “strike is off” and they “have been eating for a few days” now.

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