Home Minister: 15,845 undocumented migrants being held in depots as of January

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 15,845 undocumented migrants are being held at immigration depots across the country as of January this year, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

In a parliamentary written reply, he said of the total, 11,983 were men, 2,683 (women), 656 (boys) and 523 (girls).

"Those from the Philippines make up the largest numbers with a total of 5,138 (32.4%), followed by those from Myanmar including Rohingyas 4,424 people (27.9%), and Indonesians with 4,097 people (25.9%)," he said in reply to a question from Dr Ahmad Fakhruddin Fakhrurazi (PN-Kuala Kedah), who asked the government to state the actions taken to address the problem of foreigners who entered the country as tourists but remained in the country instead.

Saifuddin also revealed that a total of 971 operations had been conducted this year, with a total of 3,129 arrests made against migrants and 34 employers.

In 2022, the Immigration Department had conducted a total of 8,033 enforcement operations with a total of 22,804 arrests on immigrants from various countries as well as 317 employers based on various immigration offences, he said.

He said that the Home Ministry viewed the issue of undocumented migrants seriously and it needed a comprehensive approach to deal with the issue.

"The Immigration Department also recorded a total of 37,038 undocumented migrants that had been deported in 2020, with 29,164 in 2021 and 38,904 in 2022.

"For the period between Jan 1 and Feb 8 this year, a total of 5,256 undocumented migrants had been deported so far," he said.

He added that visa issuance control, immigration checks at the country's entry points and continuous enforcement operations will be continued against undocumented migrants as an element of deterrence on foreign visitors to ensure that they do not break the law.

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