PETALING JAYA: The home ministry is developing a comprehensive and holistic enforcement plan to tackle the issue of illegal immigrants in the country.
In a statement today, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the plan will be implemented over five years and will involve strategic cooperation between federal and state agencies, as well as local councils and village community management councils.
The objective of the plan is to make it uncomfortable for illegal immigrants to continue their daily lives through the increased strategic cooperation between enforcement agencies and greater public awareness.
The ministry statement said the plan contained five main strategies: enforcement; legal and policy; border controls; management of illegal migrants; and media and publicity.
The enforcement operations strategy will contain enforcement plans against illegal immigrants, while the legal and policy strategy will include plans for formulating laws and streamlining policies relating to the enforcement action on illegal immigrants, the statement added.
Other strategies include one on border control and management of foreigners in the country, while the final strategy relates to publicity and awareness on the illegal immigrant issue.
The ministry said it understood the illegal immigrant issue is a cause of worry for the public and that it will continue to carry out enforcement operations against illegal immigrants.
It said from Jan 1 to June 4, 2019, the Immigration Department carried out 7,940 operations nationwide, involving checks on over 100,000 foreigners.
“Action has been taken against 23,295 illegal immigrants and of that number, Indonesians (8,011) made up the majority of those detained, followed by Bangladeshis (5,272), with the remainder being Myanmar, Philippine and Thai nationals.
“In the five months between Jan 1 and Jun 1, 2019, some 26,116 illegal immigrants were sent back to their respective countries.”
The ministry added that in the same period, legal action was taken against 605 employers under the Immigration Act.
Employers who bring in illegal immigrants to work can be fined between RM10,000 and RM50,000 or jailed for up to one year, or both, for each illegal immigrant hired.