Illegal immigrants to follow eased restrictions: police

Illegal immigrants to follow eased restrictions: police

Some of 47 Myanmar illegal migrants are ordered to sit after they were arrested in Sai Yok district of Kanchanaburi on Monday. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)
Some of 47 Myanmar illegal migrants are ordered to sit after they were arrested in Sai Yok district of Kanchanaburi on Monday. (Photo: Piyarat Chongcharoen)

Immigration police expect more illegal workers from neighbouring countries to return to Thailand as the country reopens more businesses.

Immigration Bureau spokesman Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong said on Wednesday the trend of illegal entrants to Thailand was on the rise as they were drawn by reopened businesses following the government's easing of restrictions.

Workers from neighbouring countries, especially those from Myanmar and Cambodia, were eager to return to find jobs in Thailand, he said in an interview with Chula Radio of Chulalongkorn University.

"A significant number of those arrested at the borders possessed work permits," he added.

Thailand has closed all land borders and allows only Thai returnees and cross-border trade goods to enter. Foreign workers are also not allowed to leave for their home countries.

Despite the border closure, numerous migrant workers sneaked out of the country last month, either because they were left unemployed during the lockdown period in Thailand or they wanted to return to their country for vaccination.

Pol Maj Gen Archayon said the trend was reversed this month as more were arrested trying to sneak into the country, although he did not provide the figures.

However, data from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) did not show a significant increase in illegal entrants. It showed 4,600 foreigners from the four neighbouring countries were arrested last month and 4,100 were captured in the first 21 days of this month.

The government eased restrictions for 29 provinces hard-hit by the Covid-19 outbreak this month. The CCSA will decide on Monday whether more businesses, including cinemas, will be allowed to reopen.

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