Connect with us


Thai expats in America fear Trump

Legacy Phuket Gazette



THAILAND: Illegal migrants from Thailand are living in fear in the United States as the new administration under President Donald Trump issued a new order to crack down on 11 million undocumented foreigners.

The Foreign Ministry yesterday also expressed concern about the new order, warning Thai people in the US to comply with the laws of the host country as more than 100,000 undocumented Thais are believed to be living there.

“Thai nationals living and working in any country must respect local laws. Undocumented people take their own risks if they get arrested and deported,” said Chittipat Thongprasert, deputy director-general of the Consular Department.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued tough new orders on Tuesday to begin a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants, putting nearly all of the country’s undocumented foreigners in the crosshairs, according to AFP.

Two memos issued by DHS Secretary John Kelly ordered border patrol and immigration officers to deport illegal immigrants as quickly as possible, with only a few exceptions, principally regarding children.

Undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes will remain the priority for deportation, but it will now also include anyone who has been charged or potentially faces criminal charges.

Chaiwat Wattalo, a Thai national living in the US, said that Thais – notably those who lived and worked illegally – were in a panic after the new order.

“There are plenty of rumours about the crackdown. We have to check on each other all the time. It would be big trouble if any of them were arrested as their incomes would be disrupted,” he said.

Mr Chaiwat has worked legally in the US for years, but worries about fellow Thais who arrived in the past few years and do not have proper documentation.

“It would be okay for those who live in sanctuary cities like Los Angeles and New York City, since authorities are flexible, but people who live in Arizona or Texas might get into trouble,” Mr Chaiwat added.

Banlue Sornbali, a Thai businessman in Los Angeles, said he expected the majority of Thais in the country would be safe since they had documents.

“Those who live here illegally should be careful. Even minor crimes such as quarrels or fights could lead to big trouble like an arrest and deportation,” he said.

He added that Thais who work or conduct business legally also need to be careful when they engage with other foreigners, no matter what their nationalities are.

“I myself need to check the background of all my staff and workers in my business since they could cause legal difficulties as well,” he said.

Thai Consular offices in the US do not have exact figures of how many Thai nationals currently reside in the US.

— The Nation


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


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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand38 mins ago

5 police kiosks set on fire in Bangkok, no injuries reported

Pattaya47 mins ago

Pattaya restaurant busted selling alcohol, 15 arrested

Thailand54 mins ago

Decision on Hua Hin Hospital “dual pricing” case set for next week

Sponsored20 hours ago

HOMA is now offering fully-serviced, affordable lifestyle apartments in Phuket Town.

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!

Thailand1 hour ago

Morning Top Stories | CCSA says Nov 1 Re-opening possible, Joe Ferrari update | September 23

Thailand1 hour ago

Good Morning Thailand | Is E-sports a real sport? Covid Visas, Joe Ferrari | Ep. 95

Guides1 hour ago

Best VPN services to use in Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand1 hour ago

Lawyer and shaman duo demand police investigate Kanchanaburi temple rehab that allegedly tortured patients

360 Reviews2 hours ago

Top 8 bottled water in Thailand

Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 1 new death, hospital occupancy rates fell

Guides2 hours ago

The best caves in Thailand to explore

Best of2 hours ago

5 must-try drinks when you visit Thailand

Thailand3 hours ago

Police seize assets believed to be acquired through drug trade, assets valued at nearly 59 million baht

Coronavirus Vaccines3 hours ago

Thailand to receive 120,000 doses of AstraZeneca from Singapore on Saturday

Pattaya3 hours ago

Pattaya tourism focusing on Russian and Indian travellers

Guides3 hours ago

10 amazing animal sanctuaries in Thailand

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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