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The Editor Speaks: Immigration overstayers and snooping

In a Press Release from the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration’s (DOI) Enforcement Division it reported that 185 overstayers fled the Cayman Islands during the month of August 2018.

“The revised number of 185 includes the previously reported 14 persons that voluntarily turned themselves into the Enforcement Division,” Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Gary Wong, explained. “The additional 171 individuals are comprised of those that simply left via airlines without notifying the department, and were identified as part of the post-amnesty assessment.”

Reports show that Jamaican nationals accounted for the highest number of overstayers with a total of 75, followed by Americans with 55 overstayers.

One overstayer was here by a whopping 13 ½ years! Most of the number recorded was 122 that had stayed for less than one week.

Apparently, information on overstayers is given to Immigration by the general public and Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Gary Wong urges the public to give them information about immigration-related offences.

Whilst I can appreciate the need for the public’s help it is not as if overstayers are causing any serious problems unless they are involved in criminal activities. Most are employed illegally by Caymanians.

I have always had a problem with neighbours spying on one another. When I was last in the UK some years ago there was a National outcry when the Local Authorities asked people to spy on their neighbours and report the ones that were putting garbage into the wrong coloured bins that had been supplied. The public had to sort their rubbish out keeping plastic, paper and glass separate from the rest and place them in the right colored bins. There were fines levied on the culprits and rewards dished out to the spy who reported the offence.

It smacked of the days of the German Nazi Operations in Europe where this sort of thing was encouraged to find Jews.

Russia has a similar network to find dissenters to the government.

North Korea and China have similar spies to find Christians within their midst.

The trend for nosey neighbours seems to be welcomed by the Authorities. Everyone is looked at by the law enforcement agencies as potential criminals.

Certainly the idea of Big Brother watching you from the book 1984 is true with all the cameras watching your every move when you are outside. Not that that has stopped the crazies from targeting us in anyway. The cameras are only of use after the event. They do precious little to prevent the crime from happening.

It is all about control.

There are even Big Brother schemes to pay snoopers who report people for some of the most trivial things. It has reached such ‘an epidemic’ that people are campaigning against it.

“People are sick and tired of being spied on by their government officials. It is damaging to community spirit,” is now the cry.

Surely in any civilised society people want to see the police and other appropriate agencies on our streets catching and deterring offenders?

I even have seen in the USA that children are being encouraged to report their teachers if they believe they are not obtaining a good education!

I pray that the encouragement by our Immigration to snoop on overstayers is not the first crack in the dyke wall.


  1. Whilst I agree to some extent it is worth remembering that information from the public forms a vital part of what law enforcement and the security services commonly refer to now as ‘Humint’.

    In the UK several terrorist attacks have been foiled by ‘nosey neighbours’. In my civil service days tip offs from the public were a vital part of our fraud investigation process and where I used to live in the South of England a police drink/driving hotline netted over 40 offenders in the first two months of operation. Where I live now information from the public is proving vital in a countywide anti-drug operation that has so far identified over 60 properties being used by gangs with links to London and Eastern Europe – some of this activity also has links to terrorism. In addition the concept of ‘client confidentially’ was long ago determined not to protect professionals like doctors, lawyers and accountants from withholding knowledge of criminal activity. Humint is now an integral part of our society, you can’t un-invent it.

    As far as I’m concerned anyone who sees the law being broken and turns a blind eye to it is just as bad as the offender. If it’s someone close to you by all means talk to them and try to sort it out before going to authorities but if, as I have now, you’ve got a neighbour processing and selling drugs reporting them is a complete no-brainer. Consider this – In the aftermath of the 1987 Hungerford shootings it emerged that several people were aware that Ryan was not only unstable but had access to unlicenced firearms but they hadn’t reported it because they didn’t think it was the right thing to do – 16 people died as a result of those decisions.

    In this case we’re talking about what they call in the USA ‘illegals’ and that can cover a huge range of potential issues. The most obvious one is that many illegals have effectively dropped off the radar for some reason or other – in blunt English they’re in hiding or being hidden. What were they hiding from?


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