400,000 unregistered Filipinos face crackdown in Malaysia
Only 5,844 Filipinos took advantage of an amnesty during Malaysia's Voluntary Deportation Program, which began in 2016
An estimated 400,000 undocumented Filipinos have been warned by the Philippine government that there will a nationwide crackdown on illegal migrants in Malaysia.
On Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Malaysia’s amnesty program has ended and Malaysian authorities will be having an immigration crackdown.
The Malaysian government said there will be no extension to the Voluntary Deportation Program, which was launched in 2016. According to the DFA, only 5,844 Filipinos took advantage of the amnesty, which is less than 1% of the number of Filipinos in Malaysia.
“We are reminding our countrymen in Malaysia, particularly those without legal immigration status, that the amnesty program ends today,” Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose said in the statement.
The Philippine government has repeatedly urged Filipinos who are staying in Malaysia illegally to make use of the amnesty and return home, as those who are caught will be kept in detention while undergoing deportation proceedings.