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Migrant Numbers Rise

Published 15th February 2016, 6:16pm

Yesterday (Sunday, 14 February 2016) 12 Cuban migrants disembarked in George Town Harbour.
The cruise ship Disney Wonder had rescued the migrants at sea.
This brings the number of Cuban migrants in immigration custody to 135, not including two who went missing from a landing site at the end of January and remain at large.
Immigration officials urge members of the public not to approach any person whom they suspect to be a missing migrant. Instead individuals should contact 911, Immigration enforcement officers, or the nearest branch of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) at these numbers:

Emergency Communications
911

Immigration Enforcement:
Jeremy Scott- ı526-7937
Joey Scott- 526-0433
Garry Wongı- 526-0480

RCIPS - District Police Stations
George Town-- 949-4222
Bodden Town-- 649-2220
East End-- 649-7411
North Side-- 649-9411
West Bay 649-3999

One hundred thirty four Cuban migrants have landed in the Cayman Islands, from 1st January 2016 to date.
Acknowledging strong local support for the migrants, officials note that international law prohibits the Cayman Islands from facilitating illegal migration. This extends, they say, to the public assisting migrants, on land or in local waters, with food, shelter, transportation, or other forms of comfort. 
Although persons who arrive in such a manner are detained pending a repatriation process, the Cayman Islands Government is responsible for ensuring that they are able to access resources necessary for health and well-being while in custody. This includes food, clothes and medical treatment.
The Immigration Department notes that the restriction on assistance is in part due to the dangerous and potentially fatal journey such individuals face.
Local laws criminalize acts by any persons who assist or facilitate illegal transportation, harbouring or the movement of migrants whether or not for financial gain. These acts attract a fine of fifty thousand dollars and seven years imprisonment.
With the Immigration Detention Centre at capacity, migrants are presently being housed in the Bodden Town and East End Civic Centres and other locations. Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service and the Immigration Department oversee these sites.

(GIS)