Malaysian Immigration Dept begins crackdown on illegal workers

The Immigration Department has begun a large-scale operation to flush out illegal immigrants after the deadline to apply for the temporary Enforcement Card (E-Card) expired at midnight last night.

An operation led by its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali raided two workers’ dormitories at Batu 7 Kapar, Klang with a team of 86 officers from the Selangor and Putrajaya Immigration Department.

In the raid, 239 foreign workers were screened and it was found 51 of them, including 12 women, had no valid travel documents and had overstayed.

Mustafar said the detained illegal immigrants gave various reasons for not having applied for the E-Card, among them not knowing the deadline for the application and that the employer had informed them that the E-Card application period would be extended.

“Here I want to stress that the expiry date for the E-Card application will not be extended, we have given ample time to foreign workers and employers to register, and we have also requested cooperation from the respective embassies of the illegal immigrants to make announcements about the E-Card,” he told reporters after completing the two-hour operation.

Mustafar said there would be no compromising with employers and illegal immigrants who were found to have no documents and that operations to hunt down these illegals would be carried out on a daily basis.

The E-Card will act as a temporary validation to allow foreign workers who do not have valid documents to work here.

The card, however, will expire on Feb 15 next year and before that time the cardholder must obtain a valid travel document from the embassies of their respective countries for the purpose of obtaining a work permit or face deportation.

Only 23 per cent or 161,056 foreign immigrants had registered until 10pm last night, two hours before the end of the registration deadline at midnight.

It comprised 28,375 employers with a total of 145,571 E-Cards issued, which was much lower than the original target of 600,000 illegal immigrants. — Bernama



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