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Amnesty for illegal immigrants soon

posted on 26/05/2002: 3181 views

The UAE is set to announce a fresh amnesty to illegal immigrants to encourage them to leave and avert prosecution in a drive to restore social and labour order, Lt. Gen. Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Interior, said yesterday. Quoted by Al Bayan Arabic daily, Dr Al Badi said the ministry had already studied this plan, and hoped embassies in the UAE would help in its implementation. "The UAE is providing all possible services and facilities to residents and expects them to comply with the laws of labour and residence It cannot allow them to violate those laws."

More than 200,000 illegal immigrants, mostly south Asians, left the UAE nearly five years ago to benefit from a general amnesty ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to end confusion in the labour market and ensure security and stability. Interior ministry sources estimated that more than 150,000 violators of residence rules are staying in the UAE, most of whom sneaked into the country by sea.

Dr Al Badi acknowledged the infiltration problem but said the UAE had taken counter-measures including tight security and surveillance at borders and coastlines, stringent penalties against employers of illegal residents and regular raids on suspected labour sites. He said plans to provide a national number to all UAE citizens and residents would support the drive to maintain social and labour stability. (The Gulf News)


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