Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Govt enclave debates exploitation of illegal immigrants

There are fears that illegal immigrants working without necessary documents are opened to exploitation in Botswana.

The issue of illegal immigrants has sparked a debate in the government enclave as the country struggle to address the issue of illegal immigrants coming to Botswana.

Exploitation and abuse among those who are employing illegal immigrants has sparked concerns where some quarters of the community fear that Batswana could be extending xhenopobic tendency to immigrants.

International Organisation for Migration Spokeperson, Mukondi Mpeiwa, stated in an interview that there is a posibility that employed illegal immigrants are open for abuse and exploitation.

 She said that there is a need for government to put up structures where irregular immigrants are allowed to come legally in Botswana for certain period of time. She said this could address the problem of exploitation that usually crops up.

Mpeiwa stated that there are situations where employers take advantage of immigrants where employers withhold illegal immigrants’ salaries and threaten that they will report them to police since they are not in possession of proper documents.

She was concerned that most of SADC countries have no structures where illegal immigrants are given proper documents to come and work in Botswana, mores especially the unskilled labour.

 Mpeiwa said that without proper structure to allow unskilled labour in most of SADC countries also encourages irregular immigrants to enter the country illegally. Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, Permanent Secretary, Ikwatlhaeng Bagopi, stated that the issue of illegal immigrant is hot debate currently in the government enclave.

 Bagopi said that despite that it is illegal to employ an illegal immigrant they will not condone a situation where illegal immigrants are exploited and abused.

He said that they had cases in the past where illegal immigrants were arrested in Botswana but prior to deportation they assist them to collect their money from those who owe them.

Bagopi stated that though it was illegal to employ an illegal immigrant no one is allowed to exploit immigrants and fail to pay them.

Bagopi stated that he intends to call Immigration Pitso to debate the issue surrounding  immigrants.

┬á“We need to discuss this issue and come up with ideas that will ┬áaddress the issue of illegal immigrants. We are of the belief that people have different opinion when it comes to the issue of illegal immigrants even here in the government enclave, “added Bagopi. He emphasised that there is a need for Pitso because the government was incurring a lot of money deporting┬áillegal immigrants┬á to their home country more-specially in Zimbabwe.

However, Bagopi says that they were no incidents of Xenophobia  among illegal immigrants, more especially from Zimbabwe

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