With the startling news that Linda Evans, Cayman Islands Chief Immigration Officer, Linda Evans has been placed on “required leave” because of alleged misconduct I can only wonder at the turmoil going on in that department.
This is on top of the news that Kimberley Davis the Director of the Immigration Boards has been placed on required leave.
Davis was responsible for managing the administration of various immigration boards, including the Work Permit Board, the Caymanian Status and Residency Board and the Business Staffing Plan Board. Davis is alleged to not be complying with labour and immigration laws in connection with her own private business.
One can only conjecture whether the two incidents happening within a few days of each other are connected.
CNS has revealed they have “been given copies of complaints and correspondence sent to government officials, including the former premier, regarding the CIO. The complaints make myriad allegations about her approach to the job and the management of the department. There were also unsubstantiated allegations regarding more specific and serious infractions regarding status grants and other issues relating to the department”.
Of course I cannot comment on what is alleged and therefore not proven but immigration is always a hot topic with widely differing opinions. To have now allegations of misconduct and abuse by two top persons does not bode well for the government’s attempts to overhaul the present system with new reforms.
Immigration must be conceived as being fair and when it would seem to stink from the top it may be only a matter of time before the whole fish is contaminated.
At least some action has been taken.
What the government can do in the meantime must be quick and someone placed there to take control, who is knowledgeable in such matters and has the respect of the community at large.
In view of two immigration heads being suspended I believe it would be best if that person came from outside the department.
However, it is not a job for the faint hearted but it must be done.
I hope it will not be a political appointment.
This is not the first time Immigration has been in problems with top people. Lyndon Martin comes to mind when he was found guilty of obtaining property by deception involving a total of $1,075 that related to immigration issues in 2009. He did subsequently win an appeal.
To all the good people who work hard and diligently in the immigration department this must be a very testing time. Morale must be particularly low at this time.
Things often happen for the best and let us not forget that no one is guilty unless proven.
Let us hope the present woes are just like a temporary work permit.