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Staking Out Immigration Seniority

Assistant Chief Immigration Officers Nicola Solomon (seated) and Tamara Reid.

Published 5th August 10, 12:0am

Young professionals continue to climb the organisational ladder in the Department of Immigration. Most recently, three new Assistant Chief Immigration Officers (ACIOs) have taken on additional responsibilities.

An outstanding trio - Nicola Solomon, Jeremy Scott and Tamara Reid - have reached new heights after demonstrating exceptional dedication and commitment to their work.

Congratulating the three, Chief Immigration Officer Linda Evans said, "These promotions are well-deserved, and I am confident that the additional responsibilities in their respective areas will be handled with their usual energy and efficiency."

Commenting on their model service, she added, "These officers are outstanding, but it is also true to say that they are indicative of the calibre of our staff."

Ms. Solomon has long been a credit to the uniform she wears and her experience currently assists her in managing border control operations.

Her Immigration Department career began in 1995, following overseas study and a stint in the private sector. In the ensuing 15 years she served in several sections including border control, enforcement and intelligence, and administration.

Referring to her latest appointment, Ms. Solomon said, "This is a challenge I particularly welcome, because in addition to upholding the law, our officers are the persons to create Cayman's first - and last - impression for visitors and other travellers."

Two years ago Ms. Solomon's abilities earned her a Senior Immigration Officer slot, as well as an assignment to border control. Her sterling work at the ports resulted in another promotion in 2009 when she became an Immigration Inspector.

"I feel very strongly about securing our borders and protecting our sovereignty," concluded the new ACIO. "Ensuring we are doing our best to protect our country entails a constant yet rewarding effort."

Enforcement and Intelligence are now the purview of ACIO Jeremy Scott, who is regarded as a prime example of diligence and professionalism.

Having worked in the private sector for some years, he opted for a career in law enforcement. Initially assigned in 1997 to border control and enforcement, in 2004 his work saw him appointed a Senior Immigration Officer.

A believer in on-going education, Mr. Scott has completed numerous advanced-level training opportunities, both locally and overseas. As a qualified enforcement instructor, he also trains other officers in the department.

The Enforcement and Intelligence Division officers are currently under his guidance.

This small group carries out a range of duties, both administratively and in the field. Activities include investigating immigration offences, from evasion of fees to false representations made on documents.

These can result in administrative fines being levied on offenders, or in cases being taken to court.

The team's work is largely collaborative and includes interaction with the Immigration Board, assessing reports from the public, as well as joint operations with local and overseas law enforcement agencies.

"Our work covers the entire gamut," Mr. Scott explained. "Roles include pursuing those who over-stay or who enter illegally, managing deportees, and intercepting and repatriating Cuban migrants, or processing their requests for asylum."

He encourages other Caymanians to consider the profession, which he says offers significant career potential in the different specialised areas of the department.

Ms. Tamara Reid is now ACIO with responsibility for processing visa applications. This regulatory arm encompasses both visitors' and students' visas for new residents.

And remaining abreast of the scope of local and international laws and guidelines is a role that Ms. Reid said she enjoys - which is fortunate since she reviews applications from more than100 countries.

Since joining the department in 1999, her commitment to excellence in service, as well as to personal development, earned her steady recognition. Immigration provided her first working world exposure for as a UCCI student, she gained her job experience there.

She went on to achieve a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Florida International University. She is also the first Caymanian to become certified by the United States Department of Justice as an intelligence and crime analyst.

Ever-learning, Ms. Reid earned an international diploma in compliance earlier this year from the International Compliance Association, through the University of Manchester Business School. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in international security through the United Kingdom's Defence Academy.

(GIS)