PUTRAJAYA – At midnight tonight, the Immigration authorities will launch large-scale operations to flush out illegal immigrants in the country, following the passing of the deadline for the Enforcement Card or E-card registration.
As of 8 am today, a total of 155,680 illegal immigrants working for 26,957 employers had applied for the E-card and 140,746 of the cards were issued. This is only 23 per cent of the 600,000 cards targeted by the Immigration Department.
Director-General of Immigration Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali is not amused. In fact, he is disappointed with the attitude of the employers. The registration exercise was launched on 15 February.
“I emphasised many times that the deadline for registration is midnight tonight, and the deadline will not be extended,” he said at a press conference.
He said that after the deadline, the department will arrest illegal immigrants and prosecute their employers under sections 56(1) and 55B of the Immigration Act 1959/1963, including those employing immigrants with student passes.
The Immigration Department headquarters is crowded with employers and their illegal immigrant workers waiting to register for the E-card at the 11th hour today.
“While the deadline for application is midnight, we expect our officers to be working up to 7 am tomorrow to process all the documents received,” said Mustafar.
He said the applications received after 11.30 am had to be kept aside in order to process those received earlier.
They received the most number of illegal immigrant applicants from Bangladesh, followed by those from Indonesia, Myanmar and Nepal, he said.
Mustafar also said that immigration authorities had arrested several people who took advantage of the E-card registration and offered their services as agents.
“They were issuing false E-cards,” he said, adding that employers had to apply for the cards without going through any middle-men. -MalaysiaGazette