Editorials

Block illegal migrants route

migrants

African illegal migrants carry their belongings following their release from the Holot Detention Centre in Israel's Negev desert. PHOTO | AFP

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Summary

  • Kenya has committed to the deal in exchange for relaxation of the strict visa terms its nationals face when entering South Africa.
  • It now falls on the immigration department and the security forces tasked with border control to tighten checks, not just at the airports but also at border points.
  • All immigrants, whether their final destination is Kenya or on transit to other countries, must be properly vetted to ensure they have the necessary permission to travel.

A deal that will see Kenya take back illegal immigrants who have travelled through the country to South Africa in exchange for lighter visa terms has raising concerns about what the East African nation will do with the thousands of potential arrivals.

The likelihood that Kenyan taxpayers will bear the cost of either hosting the returned immigrants locally or repatriating them onwards to their countries of origin has also raised questions about the deal's fairness.

But the reality is that Kenya has now committed to the deal in exchange for relaxation of the strict visa terms its nationals face when entering South Africa. Therefore attention must now turn to stopping the flow of immigrants through the country.

It now falls on the immigration department and the security forces tasked with border control to tighten checks, not just at the airports but also at border points.

All immigrants, whether their final destination is Kenya or on transit to other countries, must be properly vetted to ensure they have the necessary permission to travel.

For those seeking asylum, the country must perform its rightful role as per international conventions.