CHERNG TALAY: With resources at Phuket Provincial Prison taxed to the limit, immigration officials have been forced to use local jails to hold illegal foreign workers and their children pending their transfer to border camps. Among the jails being used for this purpose is the one at the Cherng Talay Sub-district Police Station where as many as 30 illegal Burmese and Cambodian laborers and 30 young children are currently housed. Cherng Talay police told the Gazette this morning that immigration authorities requested the use of their jail cells as they continue to crack down on alien workers without proper documentation. Police said the sub-district lock-up was selected because of its low number of detainees brought in on other offenses. Police acknowledged that the sudden influx of illegal workers has caused the station problems, among them insufficient supplies of food and water as well as youngsters, aged one to ten, who become ill during their incarceration. Children of illegal workers have no choice but to tag along as their mothers or parental guardians are placed in custody. Until recently, the women’s compound at Phuket Provincial Prison was used to house the youngsters, dubbed “forgotten children” by Childwatch Phuket Chairperson Dr Supaluck K-Methakul. Illegal workers and their children are usually transferred to camps in Ranong and other border provinces within a week for repatriation, police said.
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