DOI: to Protect and Serve
The words “security, stability and prosperity” which emblazon the uniform shirts of Immigration Department staff, reflect the organisation’s purpose and intent, as a key entity involved in ensuring public safety and national security.
This purpose explains the Department’s “zero tolerance” policy towards employee misconduct and unlawful behaviour.
On Thursday, 19 January 2017 three staff members with the Department of Immigration were arrested by investigators with the Anti-Corruption Commission on suspicion of breaching the law.
“These arrests came about as a direct result of the Immigration Department following the correct procedure and bringing suspected wrongdoers to the attention of the proper authorities for further investigation,” Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith explained.
A total of eight staff members are presently on required leave, across the department for various reasons. Mr Smith noted: “Every single day, the dedicated men and women of the Department of Immigration come to work to serve this country. Together the team of more than 160 employees share one goal which is to keep all persons in the Cayman Islands safe.”
Mr. Smith added that the Department values safety and security of the public above all else, and that putting individuals on required leave is in accordance with the provisions of the Public Service Management Law, and in the best interest of all concerned, most importantly the public.
In 2016, officials with the Department of Immigration arrested more than 500 people for various immigration offences; the most common breach was illegal landing on the Islands. Other offences included working without a work permit, employing persons without a work permit, overstaying, altering a document, making false representation amongst others.
The Department processes all arrivals at Cayman Islands ports and airports, amounting to some two million persons a year, and generates millions of dollars in annual revenue from immigration fees, administrative fines but also fines paid for offences. This last figure amounted to $400,000 in the past year.
“The people of the Cayman Islands rely on us to stop dangerous people from entering the country; prevent illicit, dangerous goods, such as drugs and weapons from reaching their communities and take effective action against those that break our rules,” the Chief Immigration Officer explained. “We cannot and will not let them down.”
Mr. Smith added that the Department will continue to be transparent about all infractions and investigations, and stressed that the Department in no way condoned the alleged actions of the individuals.
“We are committed to our values of excellence, accountability and integrity and we will continue to live by that code of conduct moving forward,” he said.
Practical means by which the Department will strive to fulfill its mission in the current year include: coordination of specialised training and development to counter risks, further Immigration Law training and sensitisation and internal cross training. There will also be personal development support for staff in areas like business, accounting and legal studies, as well as continued and enhanced use of the Intelligence Unit.
For further information contact: Jamie Hicks