A year-long crackdown on illegal immigration equated to a threefold increase in deportations in the first 11 months of 2015, with 4,312 foreigners sent home versus just 1,307 in the same period last year, according to a Department of Immigration report obtained yesterday.
The proportion of Vietnamese deportees is over 90 per cent this year, an increase from 2014, when 81 per cent of all deportees were Vietnamese.
“There were 48 nationalities including Vietnamese, Chinese and others that stayed [in Cambodia] without legal documents or after their stay expired,” said Major General Uk Hai Sela, head of investigation at the General Department of Immigration.
He said that some deportees come back illegally, requiring police to arrest and deport them again.
“They did not commit a serious crime in our country, but they did not have valid documents such as passports, visas and work permits,” said Hai Sela.
Of the 5,619 people deported throughout 2014 and 2015, about 14 per cent were women.
The National Police created 89 district-level immigration units across Cambodia in July, which are intended to work independently from the provincial police offices, allowing them to catch people more efficiently, according to deputy National Police commissioner Sok Phal.
In October, Hai Sela said that he had observed more foreigners using legitimate documents to enter the Kingdom of late and that he expects deportations to trend downward.