Immigration rounds up 14,361 undocumented migrants within two months

PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department has conducted a total of 2,528 operations from Jan 1 to Feb 23 and arrested 14,361 undocumented migrants, says director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh.

He said that in the same period, 139 employers were arrested for various offences under the Immigration Act 1959/63, including employing and harbouring undocumented migrants.

"Even though we are implementing the Migrant Repatriation Programme (PRM) from Friday (March 1), the department will continue to crack down on undocumented foreigners.

"It should be noted that we are not only targeting them, but also employers.

"Some employers want to avoid the process of recruiting foreign workers because they do not want to pay the levy.

"This is wrong because we have laws that must be followed," he said in a special interview.

The PRM, which will be implemented until Dec 31, allows undocumented foreigners to return voluntarily to their respective home countries after meeting conditions set by Immigration.

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This includes valid travel documents and a ticket home.

This year, Ruslin said the department will focus on the 220 hotspots identified nationwide and conduct joint operations with other enforcement agencies.

Businesses employing foreign labour will be scrutinised, as well as wholesale markets and educational institutions that accept international students, he added.

The department has also tightened controls and inspections at the country's borders, with foreign visitors required to show a return ticket upon arrival here.

Ruslin said there were 2,123,049 foreign workers in Malaysia as of Feb 15, with the highest number coming from Bangladesh at 786,795, followed by Indonesia (496,083), Nepal (367,498), Myanmar (163,324) and India (119,706).

In addition to these countries, Malaysia also allows the entry of foreign workers from other countries, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. – Bernama

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