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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Number of deportees swells to nearly 1,200

Number of deportees swells to nearly 1,200

From July to November of this year, 1,181 illegal immigrants were arrested and deported back to their home countries, according to investigations head at the Immigration Department Uk Heisela.

The 1,181 immigrants, of whom 211 were women, came from 24 different countries, said Heisela. The vast majority – 972 – were from Vietnam. Some of the other countries represented included Thailand, China, Laos, the Phillippines, South Korea, the United States, Japan and Malaysia.

“We found those illegal immigrants mainly through the census and from reports provided by provincial police officers after they examined and found them,” said Heisela.

“Some of them worked as sand dredgers, loggers, vendors, artisans.” Heisela said 61 illegal immigrants are still awaiting deportation.

However, Ya Navuth, director of the NGO KARAM, warned yesterday that the rapid deportation of immigrants could damage ties with neighbours, and suggested the government give illegal immigrants a grace period to obtain the proper papers.

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