A judge in Cayman has suggested an overstayer amnesty in that country after hearing a case involving a Jamaican on Tuesday.
The balance between proper punishment and costs to the state was debated in Summary Court when the Jamaican pleaded guilty to overstaying for six years.
After passing a sentence of eight months imprisonment, Magistrate Valdis Foldats questioned whether an amnesty would encourage overstayers to leave Cayman.
The Jamaican, 59 year old Joseph Milton Messan, was charged with remaining in Cayman from 2012 to 2018 after his work permit expired and was not renewed.
Senior Crown counsel Candia James said immigration officers were on patrol in West Bay on June 19 when they accosted Mr. Messan.
A check with Immigration headquarters revealed that the Jamaican had no status on the island.
In an interview, he admitted being in Cayman illegally and working intermittently.
Messan also told the court he had two children in Cayman he had to pay maintenance for until they are 18.
The Magistrate said an amnesty might be beneficial for persons who have overstayed in Cayman and not been caught. He said it might encourage those individuals to give themselves up and leave the country.