The status of Caymanian status

| 05/09/2016

Why does government use the term Caymanian status holder?  Why not just say Caymanian? Should it matter if you were born to native Caymanians or not? We all come from mixed races. Families of immigrants over the years the Caymanians should look at their ancestry. Isn’t it racist to label people as Caymanian status holders? When you become a British or American citizen you aren’t labelled British or American status holder etc, you are a citizen of the country same as the people born there and they celebrate it as an honour. It doesn’t feel like you can do the same here with the label.

You are either Caymanian or not!

Auntie’s answer: I really like your point about how the UK and US refer to non-native-born people who take the oath of citizenship, that they are known thereafter simply as British or American. There are no disclaimers to their citizenship.

To find out the whys and wherefores of the use of the term “Caymanian status holder”, I took your question right to the immigration department. I expect the answer that came back will surprise some people. Here is what I was told, “As far as it relates to immigration, the Immigration Law does not use the term ‘Caymanian status holder’ but simply refers to a ‘Caymanian’.”

In the interest of being completely thorough, I felt compelled to check the Immigration Law (2015 Revision) myself.

Sure enough, if you search the law, you will find references to “Caymanian status” but nowhere will you see the words “Caymanian status holder”. I will let the significance of that sink in for a moment…

Based on that discovery, I asked the immigration official if perhaps the use of the word “status” might purely be to connote the “legal standing” of someone and is not necessarily a part of the actual term when referring to a Caymanian. I then posited that those two words eventually got combined to become part of the lexicon.

This was the reply: “I believe that is where the confusion comes in; ‘status’ refers to the legal standing as opposed to being part of the term. It seems to have evolved over time to mark the distinction between a ‘born’ Caymanian and a ‘paper’ Caymanian.”

At the same time, the official pointed out other government departments might use different terms and to check with them for clarification.

As you so succinctly said, however, you are either Caymanian or not and you should know that under the law, that is exactly the case.

Getting people to drop the words “status holder” and call anyone who has been legally declared Caymanian simply Caymanian, is another thing entirely. At this point, I think it will be difficult to unring that bell.


Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh no, I see it coming: CaymanStatusMatters#
    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, on your small rock protruding through the sea – ignorance is bliss!

  2. Veritas says:

    Nobody seems to have picked up on the key distinction in “status”, least of all the Immigration Dept. who are presumably so busy on other matters, with so many of their top staff being paid to stay home.
    Status received by right which my wife received when she was registered here as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies cannot be revoked. Statuus received by grant which I received on application, already being a UK citizen,can be revoked if I commit a serious crime, whereupon I would be deported.
    Thus you can argue that my wife is a true (if not born) Caymanian, whilst I am not.

  3. MM says:

    America does not distinguish between its citizens the poster says; but we have Native American, African American, Chinese American… seriously?

  4. Anonymous says:

    It might be necessary to distinguish “status” that can be revoked from that which cannot be revoked.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure, but its not like anyone is ever taking active steps to revoke status. It should be a question that is actively asked every time someone is convicted or commits an offence that could have been “made possible or facilitated by the fact that they are Caymanian” but when was the last time you heard of that happening.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Bell must be unrung and I thank Auntie for bringing this to the Public’s attention. The widespread differentiation in the use of the term, including by some Government departments, damages our society.

    Attention should be drawn to the words of Mr. Benson Ebanks in the LA on 27 September 1971 when defining the concept of Caymanian Status (and therefore who is a Caymanian).

    ” … We are not really conferring a nationality on ourselves, this is impossible. We’re all citizens of the British Commonwealth, that is the United Kingdom and Colonies and this is merely a label which will enable us to control certain activities within our own shores.”

    In particular following the Cabinet status grants and large numbers of persons becoming Caymanian through marriage, many of us are not citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (now called British Overseas Territories Citizenship) but the rest of the quote is as legally and factually accurate today as when it was first uttered.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, since this is a stupid topic and an even stupider argument I am not even trying to answer your actual question. But I can’t pass up the opportunity to TELL you how dumb it is. You aren’t in Britain or America (God, who would want to be? But I digress.) So why does it matter what they do there? You are in the Cayman Islands where we do things the way we damn well please and we will take our time about it, too. We gave you the status and we will call you by whatever term we want to. And even if it was RACIST (Oh God forbid!) what exactly is going to happen? Are you going to die from it? Are you going to contract some deadly disease from it? NO! Guess what you’re going to do – even IF someone in the Almighty Government confirmed that, “Yes, Bob! (or Mary or Sue or whatever stereotypical white butt-hurt offended white person name you want to insert in the blank) “Why yes! As a matter of fact, it IS racist because we don’t like you and we want you to be offended!”…you’re going to go home and carry on life until you find something else to be offended about. See now? The white person comment, that was racist, yes it was. Are you dying? Have you broken out in boils? See? Nothing will change. You live on a Caribbean island for Christs’ sake, shut up and go to the beach. Or something. But make sure you do the shut up part, please.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, don’t feel like shutting up. I may even call these islands the Caymans just st for fun.

      • Anonymous says:

        I thumbed you down for the Caymans comment, but otherwise agree.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or better, as the foreign airline flight crew’s refer on landing ” Welcome to the Grand Cayman Islands ” 🙂

    • RacistHater says:

      No disrespect, but your comment is just about the most idiotic that I’ve read on these pages. There is only one person who needs to keep their mouth shut and it isn’t the person who asked the question in the first place (which wasn’t me, by the way).

      If your only comment is to be derogatory about race then you have a big problem

      • Anonymous says:

        You couldn’t disrespect me if you tried, numbnuts…and I bet it was you, come on, now. He who smelt it dealt it, same idea…I have no filter, so nice try at double-edging your words. LOL. Oh, I have problems alright, much bigger than my opinions on race, thanks for noticing, I feel all warm and fuzzy now. There are a few seats left in the Idiot Section, and I think one has your name on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey Government. See what happens when you do not ensure our people get a first world education? Pretty easy to guess where the most formative influences on that poster’s upbringing came from. Certainly wasn’t North America or Europe, or Cayman for that matter.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey Anonymous. See what happens when you do not ensure that you know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth? Pretty easy to see that in assuming that you are “certain” about where I was educated you have made an ASS out of U, not ME. You are right on one point: When I see the useless, sniveling, whiny, brats that are being churned out of the American school system and spewed into the mainstream public as if from a busted sewer line, I make sure to thank Whatever There Is that I was NOT educated in that particular cesspool. Otherwise, keep guessing, Einstein.

        • Anonymous says:

          No comment was made as to where you were educated (if you were educated). There was an implication as to where those educators who appear to have had the greatest influence on you, were from.

    • Anonymous says:

      ahh good old “I’m a Caymanian where are my rights” Admin are back again. “We’re not racist – we’re just passionate”

    • Anonymous says:

      I think CNS needs a “hidjut” button in addition to like/dislike/troll etc. On the other hand, I notice the comment was posted at 11:49 pm so perhaps copious drink had been taken.

    • james says:

      Funny enough I know many 10th generation Caymanians who are whiter than I am.
      Sorry you are so angry and full of resentment at the foreigners who moved to, live in and work in these islands.
      50 years ago these islands were mosquito ridden hell holes. Everyone who could leave did. The menfolk worked on ships and the women stayed home weaving rope.

      Nice to go back to those days right.