Migrante International supports Tenaganita’s call to respect the rule of law and stop weaponizing the undocumented status of migrant workers in Malaysia.
Around 4 million undocumented migrant workers including Filipinos run the risk of arrest and detention by virtue of Senior Minister Ismail Sabri’s order to the military. Tenaganita executive director Glorene A Das contends that “a fair and humane immigration system with accountability should be adopted by the State instead of demonizing undocumented migrant workers and using them as scapegoats in the spread of the COVID pandemic.”
Instead of arresting undocumented workers and putting them into lock ups, the concerned ministries must focus on rectifying serious shortcomings in the immigration system; an Emergency is not required to implement the reforms, according to her.
Besides, it is quite unfair to blame migrant workers for the rise in COVID cases when the current test results indicate that the number of positive cases is now higher among the local population than among migrant workers, she reiterated.
Migrante International raises apprehension at the worsening xenophobic attitude towards undocumented migrant workers not only in Malaysia but also in other countries where Filipinos are forced to take up employment because there are no jobs created for them at home. Undocumented workers are tagged as illegals hence they have limited access to health or social welfare services in their country of work. Aggravating this situation is the constant fear of being caught, arrested, locked up, without due process of law especially during this COVID pandemic.
Migrante International joins Tenaganita in its call that “an Immigration Act must be carried out in the spirit of justice and BONUM COMMUNE (common goodness of society) not oppressing the oppressed and instilling fear in them and leading them to despair.