THE Immigration Department said today it will not turn away Rohingya fleeing the mass killings in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
However, Director-General Mustafar Ali said, this did not mean illegal immigrants were off the hook, as the department would continue its crackdown on them.
“If they come to the country to avoid being killed, of course we will ensure that they are allowed in. No, we will not detain them.“But at the same time, if we find that there are those who are in the country illegally, of course we will arrest them,” he said after attending a department-level anti-graft pledge-taking event.
Mustafar said there was a difference between refugees fleeing for their safety and economic migrants seeking greener pastures.
He said the latter would not be allowed to enter Malaysia.
He said under the department’s ongoing Ops Mega, which started on June 30, a total of 11,052 illegal immigrants and 270 employers had been hauled up nationwide.
“Of this number, 99 employers and 3,646 illegal immigrants face charges under the Immigration Act.”