GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Friday September 27, 2013, CMC – The Cayman islands government has defended its decision to review the immigration legislation, even as a group announced plans to stage a protest march next month.
Premier Alden McLaughlin told business leaders that he believed the fear is about the “floodgates opening” and that based on the utterances he has heard so far “they are completely mistaken as to what is being proposed and the effect it is likely to have”.
The government intends to bring the new legislation for debate next month and one of the key concerns centers on the right to apply for residency in the British Overseas Territory.
Premier McLaughlin said that it does not mean all persons who have applied for permanent residency would receive it and that even those who happen to reach the eighth year of the nine year period, would also have to go through a much more stringent points system.
The application fee is being increased from US$250 to US$1,000 in addition to others fees paid in advance.
“Hopefully it will discourarage what we call frivolous applications, that is applications by persons who don’t have a chance,” he said, adding that he believes there were more people in support of the reform that those against the proposed measures.
“We have paid attention to the concerns that have been expressed to us all along. That is why we have made adjustments,” he said, noting it is the right of every individual to demonstrate.