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Migrants get free rides home

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Returnees include workers with and without legal documents. Supplied

The number of undocumented Cambodian workers being deported from Thailand through border checkpoints has doubled due to the upcoming Khmer New Year, an official said yesterday.
Sem Makara, the deputy chief of the border police station at Poipet, said there was no crackdown on undocumented Cambodian workers in Thailand.
“However, for a few days we have seen the number of migrant workers being deported to Cambodia increasing more than normal due to the upcoming Khmer New Year,” he said.
Between 500 and 600 Cambodian workers were reportedly deported over the previous three days, Mr. Makara said.
On average only about 100 to 200 undocumented Cambodian workers were deported from Thailand every day for not having passports or documents to work and stay, he said.
He said those being deported from Thailand were both illegal and legal workers.
“Legal workers tended to hide their passports or travel documents from Thai authorities for them to be sent back home immediately and get transport free of charge.” Almost a half the deportees were legal workers who tried to hide their documents, he said.
“They are straight away sent home without any further delay,” Mr. Makara said.  
Earlier this year, Cambodia set out ways that thousands of undocumented workers in Thailand can get legal status to find work or stay in a job.
For many Cambodians it will end a gray area in which they have been issued with what are known as pink cards by the Thais.
These give them migrant worker status, but are not enough to allow the workers to get jobs legally.

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