QUESTION: Dear Cayman Marl Road,
I'm a real fan of Reggae artist Buju Banton (Mark Anthony Myrie). When would he be able to come to the Cayman Islands and is anyone planning a concert?
ANSWER: Please note that Buju Banton is considered a prohibited immigrant (PI) and would not be permitted to enter the Cayman Islands.
There was an incident in March 1993 where, while on tour in the Cayman Islands, Buju Banton received a suspended sentence and a fine for discharging a pistol outside a nightclub/session. He was placed on a prohibited immigrant list at that time.
Section 83 of the Immigration Law deal with prohibited persons. It lists different categories of persons that can be prohibited immigrants. It includes prostitutes, persons with mental health issues etc. s.82(h) states:
“a person who, not having received a free pardon, has been convicted in any country of an offence for which a sentence of imprisonment of or exceeding twelve months has been passed otherwise than for non-payment of a fine.”
Now that Buju has served a US prison sentence of more than one year he would be prohibited under this section as well.
Under the current immigration law, no time limits are set on periods an individual can be expelled from the islands. In other words, it is currently a lifetime ban. There were some discussions back in 2015 to amend this for persons with Cayman connections; but this has not been done.
It is possible for Cabinet to grant a permit for a prohibited person to enter under a permit but we can imagine this would only be done in exceptional circumstances.
On a more practical level we are sure that Jamaica will be hosting a concert soon and given it's only a 45 minute flight we are sure that many persons would travel there for it.
Other media have indicated he could perform first in Trinidad.