Tuesday, January 10, 2006

South Africa deported nearly 200,000 illegal immigrants in 2005

Bonny Verwey:

Almost 200 000 illegal immigrants were deported from South Africa last year as a result of the regular methods used by the Department of Home Affairs to identify foreigners who are in the country without the proper documentation. Home affairs spokesman Nkosana Sibuyi said illegal immigrants were rooted out using a variety of methods, including identification by immigration officials, arrest by police officers and the continued combined efforts of home affairs and the departments of justice and safety and security. "If you are in South Africa with no documentation you are considered or declared an illegal immigrant," Sibuyi said. "If people are illegally in South Africa as a result of socio-political conditions in their own country, they can apply for asylum," he said. A state-controlled Zimbabwean newspaper, the Herald, reported last week that more than 3 000 Zimbabweans had been deported from South Africa last month for flouting immigration regulations and were transported back to Zimbabwe by road and air during the Christmas week. A total of 97 433 illegal Zimbabwean immigrants were deported last year.

Sibuyi said illegal immigrants were not targeted by country or continent and said that those deported last year were from many different countries throughout the world. He said a total of 77 868 illegal immigrants from Mozambique were deported last year, 9 225 from Lesotho, 4 296 from Malawi and 193 from Nigeria. Smaller numbers from Australia, China, India, Pakistan and Peru were also deported in 2005. Sibuyi said that though it was not possible to identify all the reasons foreigners were coming to South Africa and staying illegally, some did so because they wanted to enjoy the fruits of a new democratic South Africa and the opportunities it had opened up. "But just as I cannot wake up one morning and decide that I want to go to China that day without having organised the correct documentation and passports, so too people cannot come to South Africa without the right documentation," he said.

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At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Egbert said...

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