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Cayman: Funding Approved by Cabinet to Securely House Irregular Migrants

In a significant move to enhance national security and humanitarian response, on Tuesday, April 30th, the Cayman Islands Cabinet approved a $2.4 million investment in the construction of a new detention facility. 

This decision follows an extensive process that includes business case assessment, design and engineering, and consultation with detention experts. The funding’s allocation reflects the government’s proactive approach to the escalating risk associated with the potential mass arrivals of irregular migrants, emphasizing the need for a robust infrastructure to manage such situations effectively and humanely.

The increase in migrant flows around the region, and the number of migrants that arrived on our shores in the recent past have heightened the urgency for adequate, secure housing facilities.

The existing Bodden Town Civic Centre, which was once fully operational and intact, has sustained extensive destruction inflicted by migrants, especially from their makeshift modifications on the inside of the structure.

Cementing these concerns is the fire at the Detention Centre in Fairbanks in September of 2023, which was started by migrants in detention and has rendered the facility uninhabitable. Collectively, these developments pressed the need for urgent and resilient solutions.

The funding will facilitate the construction of a state-of-the-art facility designed to securely house and monitor 180 persons in permanent structures, ensuring their safety and dignity. Additionally, the design includes surge capacity to accommodate an extra 144 persons in short-term housing, addressing potential spikes in migrant numbers. This facility is not only a response to current inadequacies but also a forward-thinking measure that strengthens the Cayman Islands’ ability to manage future challenges in migration.

The new detention centre will be equipped with modern security systems and constructed using resilient materials capable of withstanding extreme conditions, ensuring long-term serviceability. The government’s unwavering commitment to upholding high standards of humanitarian care while ensuring public safety is at the core of this initiative.


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