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Immigration: Group calls for migrant disclosure

Immigration
In a letter to the Ministry of Interior dated Thursday, the Cambodia Watchdog Council (CWC) requested the publication of statistics detailing the number of legal and illegal immigrants living in Cambodia. Rong Chhun, a CWC representative, said that the number of Vietnamese immigrants is on the rise, threatening job security for Cambodian citizens. “They enter Cambodia to compete for jobs with Cambodian people,” he said. “Moreover, too great a flow of illegal immigrants into Cambodia can make Cambodian people lose their national identity.” Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the ministry had not yet received the letter, but added that it is not compelled to produce the figures. “The Interior Ministry cannot be ordered by the CWC. It is under the fourth government mandate, which has the role of serving Cambodian citizens and not Rong Chhun.” He did not disclose the number of immigrants in Cambodia, but said that the ministry is conducting an immigrant census. A 2007 report by the ministry said that there were between 70,000 and 100,000 Vietnamese immigrants living in Cambodia.

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