Hong Kong seeks to crackdown on illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka

HK_ImmgrationTower_Entrance-1050x788The Immigration Department in Hong Kong is seeking to add Sri Lanka to a list to crackdown on illegal immigrants entering the country.

The assistant director at the Immigration Department in Hong Kong, William Fung Pak-ho said he hopes legislation raising the maximum penalty to 14 years in jail for snakeheads of illegal immigrants from South Asian countries will be passed by July, The Standard newspaper in Hong Kong reported.

Under the current Immigration Ordinance, anyone who arranges for unauthorized entrants from the mainland, Vietnam or Macau faces up to 14 years in prison and a HK$5 million fine.

The department wants to stretch that shortlist by adding eight countries Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Currently, those eight are under the category of “other countries of places.” Traffickers arranging for unauthorized entrants from any of those eight face up to seven years’ jail or a HK$600,000 fine.

“Data from the past five years showed that 90 percent of the illegal immigrants were from those [eight] countries,” Fung said. “If we later find that illegal immigrants from a specific country are increasing, we could issue an order and add the country to the list.”

As of March 2, there were 11,160 non- refoulement claims pending screening. Non-refoulement is an international law principle of not sending a person back to a place where he or she may be persecuted.

A Legislative Council document showed that the department has been studying how to detain more illegal asylum seekers, following suggestions of setting up a detention camp. That suggestion “also gives rise to other challenges from land and manpower resources perspectives,” the document read.

“That being said, we have commenced research into proposals to empower the Immigration Department to detain more claimants that would conform to legal and operational requirements, so as to deter them from coming to Hong Kong and delaying the removal or screening procedures.”

A pre-arrival registration is planned to start within the year for visitors with a high risk of lodging non-refoulement claims. (Colombo Gazette)

1 COMMENT

  1. Hk is an international city earning billions everyday. This refugee problem seems to be very small with only abt 11,000 refugees seeking help in hk. Why would they flee their home countries, risk their lives and leave their loved ones behind if they are all fake refugees? They have one problem or the other,they arent all fake. They need help and justice. They engage in illegal jobs in hk because they have no other choice. The Gov.’s allowance to them is totally not enough so they are compelled to earn money by working illegally and when caught, they are imprisoned to 15 months in jail. This is so unfair with them.
    Everyone is after refugees and now these so called politicians want them to be locked up in detention camps.They are not criminals! Instead of helping them, these leaders want them locked up! They are also human beings and they have their lives also. They also want their lives in security, want their kids to have good future thats why they are running for justice and their secure future.
    Detention camps for these asylum seekers is a totally ridiculous idea! This is against humanity! There are small children who are also refugees and just imagine how their lives will become if they are locked up in a detention camp!
    Hk must post more stricter border controls so that no more can enter HK.and those who are already in HK must be dealt with like humans instead of pointing fingers at them,descriminating them. Hk will have nothing to lose if it helps these refugees. In fact, those waiting for the result of their claims should be allowed to work in a certain field so that they cant be compelled to engage in illegal activities/crimes as per some of the politicians,leaders have accused them of. They arent committing as much crime nor are they violating the peace of our society as some of the hkers are claiming. There are more news on HKers committing more serious offenses everyday,then why shouldnt these Hkers be locked up in detention camps? Why only after refugees?

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