How is the decision made to deport someone?

| 08/05/2019 | 14 Comments

When someone on a work permit is convicted of a crime here, why don’t they get automatically deported after they complete their sentence? I have read articles on expats committing crimes where they are ordered to be deported once they get out of prison and others where that doesn’t seem to be the case. What is the policy on this and which department is responsible for the decision on deportation?


Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: The decision to deport someone falls to the Cabinet under circumstances set out in the Customs and Border Control Law, 2018. It is not automatic, but the court and the director of public prosecutions (DPP) can recommend deportation. An official with the Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration offered very helpful guidance through the relevant sections of the law.

As I mentioned, Cabinet holds the power to authorise a deportation order under Section 120(1) of the law, but subject to Section 118, which excludes Caymanians and anyone “entitled to remain permanently in the Islands”, and Section 119, which says in (1) that a deportation order should be made for “(a) a convicted and deportable person (the explanation for that description can be found under definitions set out at the beginning of the law); (b) a person who has been convicted of an offence contrary to section 105 (illegal landing); or (c) a person who has been sentenced in the Islands to imprisonment for not less than six months”.

However, Section 119(1) adds the caveat that if a magistrate reports on the case, the Cabinet, after reviewing all the findings, conclusions and recommendations, can decide a deportation order can be made.

But anyway, Section 120(1) says Cabinet can, “if the Cabinet sees fit”, issue a deportation order to a convicted and deportable person; a destitute person; a prohibited immigrant who has entered the Islands contrary to the law; a person whose permission to land and to remain or reside in the Islands, or any extension, has expired or been revoked and he or she doesn’t leave; or a person whose application for asylum has been refused under section 111 of the law.

In cases where a court recommends deportation at the time of sentencing, Cabinet will consider that along with any other relevant information and then decide whether to authorise a deportation order.

But if the court does not recommend deportation and the offence falls under Section 119 (1)(a)(b)(c) – which are described above – then the DPP can start proceedings in Summary Court, which would involve taking sworn evidence from any witnesses and relevant parties. After that the court would report the facts and conclusions from the case, along with any recommendations. Then it would be up to Cabinet to decide whether to authorise the deportation.

The law mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library

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Comments (14)

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  1. anon says:

    Interestingly we have even deported Caymanians – check out the Prison Service.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many permit holders who serve time in prison decide to stay on island anyway? I bet its a tiny number.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I hope that answers your question…

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    • Anonymous says:

      No. The answer simply confirms that the process is haphazard and obscure and unequally applied. Incompetence reigns!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is ridiculous that in this day and age with all of the things that Government and our prosecutors should be dealing with that the deportation of criminals should take up Cabinet’s time or the time of the DPP. It would be much better for the law to require the automatic deportation of all foreign criminals once their sentences have been completed with appeals from such deportation only in very exceptional circumstances.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In other words – who you know? And where you from?

    • be safe says:

      Yes it was not until the public started preasuring the government that they deported the Trinidad sex criminal who sexual assualted those young female athetes

  6. Anonymous says:

    Some facts to ponder:

    1. They actually do not know who is Caymanian. No one has or maintains an accurate record, and any checking appears to be haphazard. Some of the people being treated by the system as Caymanian may in fact not be. These include so called “ghosts” and persons who have Cayman passports but who are nevertheless not Caymanian.

    2. They appear to omit the fact that some persons who are in fact Caymanian are liable to have that status revoked if they commit a crime, and thereby become deportable. That includes certain crimes committed by a cabinet status recipient (s.34 of the Immigration Transition Law). No one granted status has “irrevocable” status.

    3. They appear to omit the fact that anyone who has Permanent Residence can have that status revoked under a.51(c) of the Law, and thereby becomes deportable.

    4. There does not appear to be any consistent mechanism to report criminals to immigration and cabinet.

    5. The court may not recommend deportation if it is not asked to. There does not seem to be any coherent system for ensuring that that question is asked of the court each and every time the question is appropriate ( we are not talking speeding offenses). This is perhaps linked to an inability to be sure of whether a person is in fact Caymanian.

    6. Just because the court does not order deportation does not mean the immigration authorities cannot revoke permissions and otherwise use appropriate means to ensure an individual’s departure from Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      This would be so simple, if Caymanian was a nationality and not an arbitrary status

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      • Anonymous says:

        Nothing arbitrary over who is Caymanian and who is not. It is clear in the law. That the government chooses not to follow its own laws is perhaps the bigger issue.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I believe it should be automatic deportation with no future rights to return once any expat/tourist has committed a crime that requires a custodial sentence.

    • Anonymous says:

      That may seem reasonable, but what about if that expat/tourist has a family unit .. spouse and/or child(ren) within the Islands ? ,What about the right to found a family guaranteed under the Bill of Rights?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Criminals forfeit those rights, in the same way they forfeit their right to be free if their conduct warrants imprisonment. Nothing stops the family from exercising their right to be together in another country.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those people don’t have permanent rights to be on island anyway. They can go with their loved one to whatever country they want.

        If they have Caymanian relatives then they can travel to visit those people. This is not much different than other countries and deportation. I don’t understand why the gates to Cayman need to be left wide open while other countries are tightening controls.

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