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Immigration Raids Continue in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are going to be discussing further information regarding immigration raids, immigration crackdowns associated with the Operation X-ray Outlaw Foreigner initiative that has been undertaken by Immigration Police in recent months here in the Kingdom.

Quoting directly, from a June 22nd article from the Bangkok Post. The article is entitled “More Foreigners Rounded up for Visa Offenses”.  Quoting directly, "Police arrested 107 foreigners for visa offenses and illegal entry during coordinated raids in 83 locations across the country early on Friday.  Three Thais were also held for other offenses." Quoting directly, "The raids targeted locations in Bangkok and other provinces frequented by foreigners; 30 schools, 2 international schools, 4 language schools, 24 secondary schools and 53 other places."  So the thing to take away from that is, the crackdowns continue. I think we are going to see this happening rather routinely and I think that the Immigration Police are now sort of narrowing their search to places where they believe they're going to find folks who are not in status; schools seem to be particularly of interest as well.

Another article, again from the Bangkok Post, headline:  “Cops Crackdown on Illegal Migrants”, July 2nd, 2018. Quoting directly, "A massive crackdown on illegal migrants has been launched nation-wide after the registration of undocumented alien laborers reached the deadline on Saturday. According to the 2017 Executive Decree on the management of migrant workers, legal action will be pursued against both employers and unregistered staff in the event of any visa related transgressions. Laborers face a fine of 5000 to 50000 baht; they will also be repatriated and banned from working in Thailand for two years. Meanwhile employers face a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 baht per illegal worker." That is of interest to me. "Repeat offenders will be liable for fines of 50,000 to 100,000 Baht per worker, a jail term of not more than one year and a 3-year ban on hiring foreigners."

So there is two aspects to this. First of all, the Operation X ray Outlaw Foreigner seems to be primarily concerned with, it seems to me to be a more broadly based campaign, whereas the so-called migrant labor issue has to do with those folks who are coming over from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, to work in the Kingdom; that seems to be more the thrust of the migrant labor issue.  But that being said, what affects one in my opinion is going to affect the other and clearly the sort of grace period that basically began last year about this time, about July of last year, as I recall July or August, when this new decree with respect to migrant laborers went into effect last summer, they had to very quickly thereafter initiate a moratorium because there was a mass exodus of folks who were just almost streaming out of the country for fear of being found out of status, therefore arrested and possibly being basically barred from reentering the country or just being stuck in jail for a prolonged period of time. So again about a year ago back in 2017, we saw this originally enacted. Shortly thereafter a moratorium was placed on these provisions and then they actually extended it by a substantial period of time periodically in order to get all those folks registered and in the system. Now the deadline has come to an end. Those who are not registered, they face criminal penalties, civil penalties possibly immigration penalties for failure to be in compliance. But again, going back to sort of the broader picture, taking this in context with the Operation X ray Outlaw Foreigner, which when they undertake these raids, they don't just pick up Cambodians, Laos, Myanmar Nationals, they also pick up nationals from anywhere who are out of visa status or who entered the country illegally.

So the point I am trying to get across in this video is I think these raids are going to continue. I think you're going to see further resources; time, money, effort spent towards immigration enforcement activities because I think it is just becoming increasingly clear the Thai Immigration System is upgrading itself, for lack of a better term, to more accurately reflect the times we currently live in and a result of that, a major upshot of that, is going to be folks who don't have any legal reason to be in the country being compelled to go ahead and depart.