PUTRAJAYA: A total of 21,241 illegal immigrants have been deported since January this year, says Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (pic).
The Home Minister said there are still around 15,000 people in the country's Immigration depots waiting to be sent back to their respective homeland.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has made deportation exercises rather tough as countries are not ready to receive their own people.
"Their concern is to prevent import of Covid-19 cases but I would like to point out that we have taken necessary steps to ensure those who return are free of the virus," he said after attending the Immigration Department excellent service award on Thursday (Aug 13).
Hamzah said the procedure is that before an illegal immigrant is deported, he will be tested for Covid-19, be quarantined and be tested again before being sent back.
"We are aware of the concerns and that is why we have taken these steps before sending illegal immigrants home," he said.
Majority of those who were deported are Indonesians (9,276), followed by Bangladeshis (2,643) and Myanmar nationals (1,896).
In 2019, Immigration authorities checked more than 200,000 foreigners and deported 53,000 people.
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