Expect crackdown, DFA warns Filipino illegals in Malaysia
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday warned undocumented Filipinos in Malaysia to expect an immigration crackdown with the end of the country’s voluntary deportation program.
The Malaysian government had said the amnesty program, launched in 2016, would no longer be extended.
There are an estimated 400,000 undocumented Filipinos in Malaysia, according to the DFA.
Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose advised Filipinos there to make sure they have their legal documents with them when they travel.
“In view of this, we request our [countrymen] to exercise due prudence and to ensure they carry their legal documents at all times,” Jose said.
He also said the embassy was ready to assist Filipinos who would be affected by the immigration operations.
It has provided assistance to 5,844 Filipinos since the amnesty program began two years ago, but this represented less than 1 percent of Filipino “illegals” there, he said.
The embassy issues travel documents for free, pays exit fees, provides airfare assistance and issues endorsements to the immigration office in Putrajaya, he said. —LEILA B. SALAVERRIA
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