Causes and Consequences of Illegal Immigrants in Johor from A Socioeconomic Perspective

Fuad Bin Mohamed Berawi, Bakti Bin Hasan Basri and Normizan Bin Bakar

The study of immigrants mostly focuses on foreign workers who work legally, while studies on illegal immigrants (“pendatang asing tanpa izin” or PATI) are somewhat rare due to difficulties in obtaining information, data, and cooperation not only from immigrants, even from authorities as it involves questions of security, legality, privacy, and confidentiality. Thus, this paper highlights the issues and problems of illegal immigrants explicitly for insight and understanding of the broader discussion. Basically, this research focused on identifying the demographic profile of immigrants, analyzed employment, income, and the employer, as well as examined the push and pull factors related to the admission of foreigners involved in coming to Malaysia. All respondents of this study were immigrants, who were interviewed face-to-face using a questionnaire at the Immigration Detention Center in Pekan Nenas, Pontian, Johor. Information and data were processed and analyzed by descriptive and comparative methods. The study concluded that illegal immigrants coming into Malaysia were more motivated by economic factors, such as poverty and lesser employment opportunities in countries of origin, higher income, and a better life in Malaysia despite the issue of political unrest, sectarian strife, and religious conflicts, as well as human trafficking and the issue of fraud by agents. Tougher law enforcement is necessary to address and combat the exploitation of individuals by imposing harsher punishment and penalties for assuring the safety of the local people, national sovereignty, while protecting the rights and dignity of humankind and future generations.

Volume 11 | 05-Special Issue

Pages: 858-873