One dozen Cuban migrants on their way to Cayman were intercepted by a cruise ship over the weekend. The Disney Wonder picked up the twelve travelers shortly after it left Miami on Saturday night.
The ship made call to port in Cayman yesterday (Sunday February 14) at 7:00 Am, at which time they turned the migrants over to the Immigration Department. The Department of Immigration must now house 135 migrants now that the additional 12 have arrived.
Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Jeremy Scott says at some point all the migrants will have to be deported to Cuba. Siting that Cayman has to a responsibility to promote and up hold legal migration on an international level.
Mr Scott told Cayman 27, that Cayman is duty bound to help up hold the border control prerequisites of other countries such as the United States. He said, “In the bigger scope of things, internationally we all have our laws and legislation that govern border control.”
Those at the Immigration Department say they understand how difficult it can be to not offer help to migrants who wash up on our shores; but for the safety of the general public and Cayman’s duty as a country requires us to maintain our standards.
He said, “Any attempt to traverse or in-transit in one country through another, without following prerequisite laws or protocols is in essence an attempt to illegally migrate. We not only are responsible for ourselves, but we are also responsible for entertaining any migration that would be unlawfully.”
The Immigration Detention Centre can hold a maximum of 60 migrants at a time, currently there are more than double that amount in custody. With 135 migrants the some are now being held in community civic centres in Bodden Town and East End.
The civic centres are low security facilities, and as such staging a break out is less difficult. Earlier this month 7 migrants escaped from the East End facility, however with in a few days the Immigration team was able to track them all down and have then safely return into custody despite having limited resources and man power at their disposal.
Another 2 Cuban men remain missing, after they came ashore in Breakers two weeks ago. Mr Scott said the men had left the scene before the authorities could arrive, so they didn’t know who the men were or what they looked like. However within a few days they were able to identify subdue two of the four men. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the men are encouraged to contact the RCIPS or the Immigration Department.