Two more people are challenging government’s decision to deny their permanent residency bids, arguing that the Immigration Appeals Tribunal unfairly discriminated against them in considering their applications.
The Compass is aware of at least seven permanent residency cases that have made their way to the Grand Court after being denied by government.
One of the latest challengers is Sharon Staples, a Jamaican citizen who has been in Cayman for 28 years. During nearly that entire time, Ms. Staples has worked as a domestic helper, according to her legal challenge.
Ms. Staples stated in her claim form that she first applied for permanent residency in 2006 and had her application denied in 2009. She stated that she appealed that decision in 2010, but her appeal hearing was not heard until November 2017, and she received a decision in June last year.
Ms. Staples stated that she “has lived for most of her adult life in the Cayman Islands, that she is an active member of her church and broader community, that she lived through and worked diligently to rebuild her community in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, that she volunteers as a hurricane shelter coordinator, [and] that she has been in gainful employment and self-supporting throughout the time [of] her residence in Cayman and that she has been an exemplary resident in all respects.”
Despite those facts, the Immigration Appeals Tribunal gave her an insufficient number of points for financial assessment, contributions to the community, and connections to Caymanians, according to Ms. Staples, who is represented by Walkers.
Along with arguing that the Immigration Appeals Tribunal should have granted her more points, Ms. Staples also argues that the Immigration Law and Regulations as applied by the tribunal and Permanent Residency Board do not comply with the Bill of Rights. Ms. Staples’s claim form cites the preamble of the Cayman Islands Constitution, which calls for “an immigration system that protects Caymanians and gives security to long-term residents.”
“It is not reasonable, rational, fair or proportional, nor is it consistent with the Christian values and principles of social justice upon which the Constitution is expressed to be founded, for the effect of the application of the Immigration Law and Regulations to be to deprive a person lawfully resident in the Cayman Islands for almost thirty years of her right against expulsion,” her claim form states.
The other challenger, Kassandra Cartagena Dominguez, is a 36-year-old Colombian citizen who has one child in her home country and another that lives here with her parents. Ms. Dominguez states in her claim form that her permanent residency application was denied on Nov. 2, but that the Immigration Appeals Tribunal did not provide clear reasons for its denial.
“This lack of transparency and thus opacity has plagued this immigration process since or about the time of the introduction of the new residency regime,” states Ms. Dominguez, who is represented by Clyde Allen. “Applicants are not properly able to understand the methodology, if any, applied by the Board or the IAT as the procedure was being rolled out.”
Ms. Dominguez further argues that she was awarded insufficient points for her Caymanian connections, local investments and salary.
“Kassandra Cartagena Dominguez considers the issues raised here are of some considerable importance as the IAT are applying a method of dismissal of her application without any basis that begs explanation and thus on its face appears capricious,” states her claim form, adding that she “humbly requests that this matter be remitted back to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal for a proper consideration of her application for the grant of Permanent Residency.”
The challenges of Ms. Staples and Ms. Dominguez are both posted on the financial services site OffshoreAlert.