KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — The Immigration Department has never ceased operations or monitoring of 220 immigrant hotspots identified throughout the country, said its Director-General Datuk Ruslin Jusoh.

He said among the hotspots are Jalan Silang, Kota Raya Complex, Bukit Bintang, and Masjid India, here.

According to him, these areas are always under the department’s radar.

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“For example, what we call ‘Mini Dhaka’ here refers to places frequently visited by Bangladeshis, Dhaka is in Bangladesh, then ‘Little India’ is where foreigners from India congregate.

“There is also ‘Chinatown’, a focal points of those who come from China, so these areas are indeed categorised as hotspots, and the public needs to understand that even though we arrest, for example, more than 300 foreigners (during operations), those without documents are less than 20 people, all the others have documents,” he told Bernama after being a guest on the ‘Apa Khabar Malaysia’ programme aired by Bernama TV today.

Ruslin said the public sentiment towards these foreigners is usually that they are all undocumented immigrants, while actually many are working here legally.

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“We don’t blame the public, when they lodge complaints with Immigration, we go and check, conduct operations and find that the majority of them (foreigners) have documents.

“They work here (in KL), they have passports, visiting passes whether for social or work purposes, so this becomes a concern for the public because there are many ‘Littles’, ‘Minis’ and so on, therefore we conduct operations everywhere,” he said.

He said all these places will have operations conducted, follow-up monitoring to ensure that the situation (presence of illegal immigrants) does not recur.

Meanwhile, Ruslin said a total of 10,467 undocumented immigrants have been detained out of 19,873 immigrants screened by his department from January 1 to February 8.

He said all of them were detained in 1,687 operations carried out by department since the beginning of this year.

“The repatriation this year is a total of 4,639 immigrants but this also refers to the arrests made last year,” he said.

He added that a total of 75 employers hiring undocumented immigrants have also been arrested from January 1 until February 8. — Bernama