Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai immigration crackdown on illegal migrants flowing back into the country

Thaiger

Published

 on 

Thailand borders four countries. Most of the borders are just jungle or the mighty Mekong River. In all cases the borders are easily crossed if someone wants to avoid the correct border channels. The country’s porous borders have been an ongoing issue with some 5 million+ illegal immigrants floating around Thailand at any one time. There has been recent attempts to hold amnesties and register illegal immigrants but Thailand’s borders remain ‘fluid’.

That’s a problem during a world virus pandemic.

Now the Thai Immigration Bureau is stepping up its efforts to stem the traffic of thousands of migrant workers across north eastern and eastern borders from Laos and Cambodia, and stop them from sneaking into Thailand illegally.

Thailand’s economic success over the past 50 years has been built on the back of cheap foreign labour and the pay and conditions offered in Thailand, whilst relatively low in world terms, is better than that offered by the country’s neighbours. Employers, eager to use the cheap flow of labour, are liable to turn a blind eye to the official, and onerous, Thai paperwork.

The head of Thai Immigration says immigration police are concerned about ongoing and illegal crossings as the Thai border remains closed to limit new infections of Covid-19. That the borders are so porous and the traffic across them almost impossible to police, has been a tangible threat to Thailand’s success in containing Covid-19 infections.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong says the immigration police will launch a campaign in the north eastern provinces to crack down on migrant workers who try and illegally enter the country for work.

Foreigners are not allowed to enter the kingdom by land, sea or air, with few exceptions.

“Some migrants crossing the border illegally may bring viral infections with them which will not be caught by screening authorities,” he told Bangkok Post.

The national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, has ordered Immigration police to get information in the four northeastern border provinces of Bung Kan, Ubon Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket and Nong Khai about the flow of illegal traffic across the river and across the borders.

Pol Lt Gen Sompong, heading up Thai Immigration, met with immigration police at the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge crossing point in Nong Khai, the small province meandering along the Mekong bordering Laos.

“I ordered immigration police to work closely with border police and soldiers in in arresting illegal border crossers. More importantly, state officials themselves must not get involved with such offences.”

He noted that, as Thailand continues to reopen, there will be a need for migrant workers again. There was a flood of migrants leaving the country when the borders were closed as migrant workers scrambled to return to their homes. But now that situation is in reverse.

“Migration to Thailand has intensified since the previous report in 2014. Based on data from a range of sources, the report estimates that Thailand now hosts approximately 4.9 million non-Thai residents, a substantial increase from 3.7 million in 2014.

Most of them come from neighbouring Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam, accounting for an estimated 3.9 million documented and undocumented migrant workers. Other major groups include an estimated 480,000 stateless persons, 110,000 skilled professionals and 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

Thailand benefits significantly from their presence. Migrant workers help fill labour shortages, contribute to economic growth and are becoming ever more important as Thai society ages. Constituting over 10 per cent of the total labour force, their work is thought to contribute between 4.3 to 6.6 per cent of Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product.”

Thailand Migration Report 2019

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Thais will need to do the cheap labour that these immigrants did soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 Wine Bars in Bangkok with Delivery

Best of10 hours ago

The Best Bakeries in Bangkok with Delivery

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

More Pattaya people arrested drinking alcohol, violating Covid measures

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Best of11 hours ago

5 of the most appealing Phang Nga hotels

Phuket12 hours ago

“Phuket Sandbox” still on, provincial restrictions set after uptick in Covid-19

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Boss indictment, Pattaya arrests, bubble burst | July 27

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of13 hours ago

Top 5 bars in Pattaya

Thailand13 hours ago

UPDATE: Dying Samut Prakan mother tells daughters to go to orphanage

Best of13 hours ago

Top 5 Thai restaurants in Krabi

Drugs13 hours ago

Hong Kong officials seize 61 kilograms of heroin shipped from Bangkok

Best of13 hours ago

Koh Pha Ngan’s 5 best resorts

North East14 hours ago

Couple “drops off” Covid infected 80 year old father at Korat temple, drive off

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Phuket officials add new layers of restrictions, Central closed for 7 days

Thailand15 hours ago

Korat construction camp closed following Covid outbreak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 14,150 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending