11 kids among those opting for migrant repatriation


JOHOR BARU: Eleven children are among the 38 undocumented foreigners who have registered for the Migrant Repatriation Programme in Johor so far, says state Immigration director Baharuddin Tahir.

He said they were the first group to register as the Johor Immigration Department only started the programme on Sunday.“As of 11pm on Sunday, some 38 undocumented immigrants have registered, comprising seven men, 20 women and 11 children – six girls and five boys below the age of 12 years,” he said yesterday.

Baharuddin said all but one who registered are Indonesians while the other is an Indian woman.

“Those who registered for the programme have already had their applications approved and received their tickets to return to their home country.

“We have issued them a special pass for 14 days. On their part, they must make sure that they go back to their country within the given period,” he said.

He urged other illegal immigrants to make their way to the state Immigration Department office at Wisma Persekutuan along Jalan Air Molek here and to register under the programme.

“Our counters will be open between 8am and 5pm from Sundays to Thursdays as Fridays and Saturdays are our weekends.

“But we will extend the counters’ operating hours if there is a need,” he added.

In January, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the programme, which allowed undocumented foreigners to return to their home countries without being prosecuted, would start on March 1.

Last Wednesday, Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said foreigners without a valid travel pass or who had overstayed would only be fined RM500 if they wanted to return home.

He said those who violated their travel passes or permits would only be charged RM300 under the programme, which would run until Dec 31.

No one under the programme would be prosecuted.

Besides paying the fines, foreigners must possess a passport or valid travel document issued by their country of origin.

They must also have a one-way ticket to their country of origin with a departure date within 14 days of their application.

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