On 4 May, there was an article entitled ‘138 overstayers leave Cayman using amnesty protection.’ In it, Customs and Border Control Director Charles Clifford made it clear that he expects all overstayers to leave the island at the first opportunity or risk prosecution as soon as the amnesty ends, which could also make it impossible for them ever to return to the island.
There are still many ‘snowbirds’ like my wife and I remaining on the island. For the most part, we are retired people who own property here, who have our own health insurance, and who are financially able to support ourselves indefinitely.
Forcing us to leave the island would mean we have to fly on several airplanes and pass through multiple airports, risking exposure to the virus at each step. Then, wherever we arrive, it’s likely that the virus will be much more prevalent than it is here, so we risk even more exposure. As most of us are seniors, we are in the highest risk age group and contracting the virus could be very serious or even deadly.
Besides that, as long as we ‘snowbirds’ are on the island and spending our money here, we are supporting the local economy. Sending us away hurts the economy and puts us at risk. Given the current crisis, I hope the government will reconsider and allow us to stay, at least until it becomes a little safer for us to leave.