Indonesia to Set Up a Task Force to Monitor The Movement of Foreigners

The government is set to revamp its oversight system on foreigners amid growing concern of foreigners exploiting their visas to work in the country illegally, as quoted from The Jakarta Post.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said on Friday that the government would set up a task force to monitor the movement of foreigners entering the country’s borders.

“The monitoring [under the task force] will ensure foreigners who enter and move across Indonesia do not have a hidden agenda, such as working illegally, or even committing terror acts and being involved in the illegal drug trade,” Wiranto told reporters following a meeting with relevant ministers at his office.

The task force would function to fill the gap in the current oversight system, which focused on monitoring foreigners when they entered Indonesian borders, yet gradually lost control when they moved to other areas, Wiranto added.

The minister said the task force would empower local administrations, which already have their own monitoring system, to step up oversight of foreigners living in the regions.

National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. Syafruddin confirmed the function of the task force was similar to the foreigner oversight (POA) team under the auspices of the National Police.

The team was set up under the Soeharto regime but disbanded by the 2011 Immigration Law, which curtails the police’s authority to oversee foreigners.

Syafruddin said the police would now be involved in monitoring foreigners, but they would be under the coordination of the chief security office.

The decision to establish such a task force comes following a crackdown on foreigners violating visas in Indonesia in recent months. Data from the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s Directorate General of Immigration revealed that in 2016, 7,787 foreigners, 1,837 of whom were Chinese, were punished for violating immigration regulations.

The crackdown has sparked a rumor that 10 million Chinese people have been working illegally in the country. President Joko ‘‘Jokowi’’ Widodo has repeatedly rebuffed the rumor, which government officials said was aimed at stoking anti-Chinese sentiment in the country and to discredit the current administration.

According to Manpower Ministry data, the total number of foreign workers officially employed in Indonesia as of November 2016 stands at 74,183 people, 21,271 of whom are Chinese.

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Source: thejakartapost.com / Marguerite Afra Sapiie

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