15,000 migrants detained in Saudi Arabia


The Saudi government has launched a large-scale crackdown on illegal immigrants. About 15,000 migrants have been detained in a week in different parts of the country. The Saudi government has accused the detainees of violating the country’s housing and labor laws and border security policies.

Local media outlets Saudi Gazette reported on Sunday, citing sources in the Saudi Interior Ministry, that several units of the country’s security forces conducted joint operations in different places from October 26 to November 3. 15 thousand 399 people have been detained at this time.

Of them, 6,292 have been arrested for violating housing laws. There are allegations against 6,373 people for violating border security policies. And 1,834 people have been arrested for violating labor laws. Sixteen people have been arrested on charges of providing shelter and transportation assistance to violators of housing and labor laws.

In addition, 26 more people have been detained in the country for illegally crossing the Saudi border. Eighty-five percent of them are Ethiopians.

42 percent are from war-torn Yemen and 3 percent are from other countries.
According to Saudi media, 6,029 immigrants have been identified in the country for violating the law. Among them 6,006 are men and 9,342 are women. The 72,006 identified migrants have been asked to collect valid travel documents from their respective embassies. On the other hand, the concerned authorities of Saudi Arabia have asked 10,017 accused to leave.

Meanwhile, the Saudi government has instructed Saudi citizens to refrain from providing any kind of services, including accommodation, employment and transportation to illegal immigrants. The country has also warned of severe punishment if it deviates. Violation of these rules is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 1 million Saudi riyals. Those who allow illegal entrants any kind of transportation and access to their homes will also be confiscated.

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About the Author: James Lewter

James Lewter is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.