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Enforcements Division Active

Immigration enforcement officers keep busy.

Published 2nd October 9, 12:0am

The Department of Immigration reminds the general public of the department's continued vigilance in detecting violations of the Immigration Laws.

So far this year, 76 people have been arrested for immigration offences -- 38 of whom were over-stayers. In addition, fines amounting to $50,651 were imposed in 74 of these cases. Over-stayers can face court charges and possible fine of up to $20,000, and/or imprisonment, and up to five years' imprisonment as well as deportation.

The Department is in the process of investigating a number of other cases of immigration crime. These include persons who have illegally entered this jurisdiction; persons overstaying their authorization to remain in the Islands; and cases of making false representations on work permits applications and failing to answer truthfully to questions asked by immigration officers.

The most recent arrest by officers attached to the Immigration Department's Enforcements Division occurred on Tuesday, 29 September, when officers detected a foreign national in East End. After a brief foot-pursuit, officers arrested a man who has been illegally residing in the Islands for over three years. The matter is currently being investigated.

Senior Immigration Officer Jeremy Scott, who has responsibility for enforcement operations within the Enforcements and Intelligence Division, warned offenders of immigration legislation that officers will continue intelligence-lead operations and that persons arrested face prosecution and possible deportation.

Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) Linda Evans thanked members of the public who have reported illegal activity in the past, and encouraged their continued civic participation in this regard. "We are actively pursuing Immigration Law violators and intend to remove persons who have no legality within our borders," she said. "This issue is a serious one for several reasons: It can impact the ability of the legal permit holders as well as Caymanians to find work, and it also raises the question of how the over-stayers are supporting themselves."

The CIO also applauded the action of the officers in this week's arrest and reiterated the emphasis on addressing the problem of over-stayers.

The public may call 949 8344 or visit the offices of the Department of Immigration for more information, or to report any suspicious activity. In addition, the Enforcements Division may be contacted directly at 244 2028 or 244 2051.

All information communicated will be treated in the strictest of confidence.