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Can ‘Suspicion’ bring out inspection?
The Ministry of Justice revising the law on Immgration
Byun Jeongpil, Reporter
A migrant worker from Indonesia named Nur Puad died in April 17, 2006. He plunged from the height of third floor when he was fleeing from a surprise raid by immigration officers.

Besides the case, it was reported that many migrant workers got hurt during a runaway from the raid of immigration officers.

The Ministry of Justice, however, is trying to legitimate an infringement of human rights revising the Immigration Control Act to allow enforcement agencies to inspect on just suspicion and assumption.

On November 8, The Ministry of Justice issued pre-announcement of legislation that it would revise the Immigration Control Act claiming that it was “in order to secure human rights and meet the calling of multi-cultural society.”

‘Suspicion’ brings out inspection

The Ministry of Justice tries to add Article 46 to the law and secures legal foundation in roundup of migrants. Revised law would provide immigrant officers with legal grounds to require passport and ask some questions to ‘foreigners who are enough to be suspected’ to violate the law.

Moreover, the law would make it clear that officers can inspect any place with considerable suspicion such as business offices, workshops, and other related sites.

The Alliance for Migrants’ Equality and Human Rights, a joint effort including 25 different groups, held press conference and said in a statement that this revision would be “a typical detrimental revision that will justify encroachment on human rights,“ on November, 28.

The Alliance pointed out that if the bill is passed “immigrant officers will be able to inspect all foreigners just on suspicions of violations without any restriction, and to visit and go through anywhere there are supposed to be illegal migrants without warranty”

It also denounce the decision of the justice department citing the National Human Rights Commission of Korea’s recommendation of 2005 which says “the government should establish clear cut-line of authorities and responsibility in inspection and arresting of immigrants,” and “compulsory investigation should be regarded as more infringing measure on human rights than those of police questioning and voluntary accompanying, so it should be carried with restrictions of at least requirements of police questioning.” It also blamed the Justice Department for “neglecting entirely the recommendation of the commission.”

“It’s like unleashing the brutal officers”

While the bill is strengthening the illegal immigration enforcement of authorities, however, lacks regulations on ‘legal responsibility.’ So this is why the bill is blamed for legitimating crackdown on migrant workers, which has been accused of illegal inspection and outrage on human rights.

The Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants' Trade Union (MTU) issued a statement that this proposal will “unleash brutal raids.” The MTU said that the Immigration Office has “abused its powers not obeying legal processes such as getting protection order,” and “instead of obeying the legal process, they are trying to justify a bad law.”

The MTU pointed out that problems of undocumented worker came from the government’s policy, which was responsible for threatening migrant workers.

The Alliance claimed “Countless migrant workers are being questioned and arrested at present, and suffering sub-standard treatments and indefinite arrests.” and added “Justice Department is justifying abusive forces nationwide blotted with illegal enforcements and atrocities on human rights.”

Besides, human rights advocate groups claim that the bill hardly reflects any of questions relating to the law of Refugees.

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