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New Immigration Deputy

Mr. Garfield (Gary) Wong

Published 24th September 9, 12:0am

The Portfolio of Internal & External Affairs has announced that Mr. Garfield (Gary) Wong has been appointed to the position of Deputy Chief Immigration Officer (Enforcement, Intelligence and Asylum) with effect from 1 October.

Mr. Wong will take on responsibility for strategic oversight of the Immigration Department's Enforcement Unit at a time when there are growing concerns about crime and increased instances of work permit abuse by employers and employees. The Department has also recently been granted permission to recruit an additional nine officers for this Unit in order to allow for increased operational capability. Mr. Wong's role will also require him to liaise with other law enforcement agencies both in Cayman and otherwise on issues of mutual interest.

Mr. Wong brings to his new position significant experience having been an Immigration Officer for his entire working career. He worked in the Enforcement Unit as a Senior Immigration Officer from 1989 to 1992 and then returned to the Unit in 1994 at the time of the Cuban refugee crisis. The following year he was promoted to Assistant Chief Immigration Officer and he remained with the Enforcement Unit until 2001. He has also spent stints during his twenty year career managing the airport and seaport border control operations and since 2005 he has been the Assistant Chief Immigration Officer in charge of visa control.

One of Mr. Wong's immigration career highlights was his work with the Enforcement Unit during the Cuban refugee crisis in the early 1990s. His outstanding efforts earned him the Queen's Certificate and Badge of Honour.

Endorsing the appointment Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans said, "Mr. Wong's broad experience of immigration generally and his specific experience in the area of enforcement make him the ideal person to lead this very important aspect of our operation."

Congratulations on his DCIO appointment have also been extended by long-time colleague and recently-appointed Deputy Chief Secretary Franz Manderson (whose new responsibilities include the Immigration Department). "Having witnessed Mr. Wong's professional development over many years I have no doubt that his skills and experience are ideally suited to his new responsibilities and I am delighted to appoint him to the position of Deputy Chief Immigration Officer," Mr. Manderson said. In response to his appointment Mr. Wong said, "I am deeply honoured by the appointment and I know it will be challenging but I will do my best to serve the people of this country. One of my first priorities will be to focus on removing those persons who have no right to be here including work permit holders with no work."

The interview panel to select Mr. Wong consisted of Mr. Franz Manderson, Deputy Chief Secretary and Chief Officer, Ms Linda Evans, Chief Immigration Officer and Mr. Eric Bush, Deputy Chief Officer.