KUALA LUMPUR: The government spends nearly RM3.5 million a month on food for immigration detainees, an average RM12 per detainee per day.
There are 14 immigration detention depots across the country and that many of the illegal immigrants remain there for one to two months while documents for their return to their respective countries are processed by their diplomatic missions.
“The cost can be reduced if their travel documents can be prepared quickly,” Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud told reporters at a home affairs ministry Hari Raya celebration.
As of June 18, there were 9,654 illegal immigrants – 7,650 men, 1,664 women and the rest children – at the centres.
They come from Indonesia (3,767), Myanmar (2,105), Bangladesh (1,594), India (525), Vietnam (294), Pakistan (263), Thailand (226), the Philippines (222), Nepal (193), Nigeria (150) and others (315).
Khairul said his department has conducted 8,277 enforcement exercises and checked the documents of 103,224 foreigners this year.
He said four depots – in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur; KLIA, Sepang; Lenggeng, Negeri Sembilan; and Juru, Penang – are congested.
“We are trying to speed up the process of sending them home as well as transferring some to nearby depots to prevent overcrowding,” he said.