The government has spent Sh360 million to deport illegal immigrants in the current financial year 2017/18.
Interior CS Fred Matinag’i on Tuesday said every deportation ticket costs the government Sh230,000.
“Even yesterday (Monday) I signed three deportation orders of which every ticket cost Sh230,000.”
Matiang’i said the government is being strict with the enforcement of immigration rules to save the country further costs through deportations.
He said the rules must be enforced without compromise “because the money can be used for other development projects”.
“How can a country of our size be spending money like that? Our projections are that if we don’t do our work well, we will need close to Sh500 million to deport illegal people from our country in the next financial year,” Matiang’i said.
Related: Illegal foreigners to be kicked out in 60 days
He spoke at a Nairobi hotel while giving a briefing on the on-going work permits Verification and Registration Exercise to local and international stakeholders.
The CS said he asked Parliament to amend the law which will require illegal immigrants to work without pay for the government to recover their deportation costs.
“I’m just being purely pragmatic,” Matiang’i said adding that he will stick to his guns even if his actions cause global outrage.
The Interior CS said foreigners will still be granted work permits but with strict adherence to the law.
He, however, admitted that some corrupt staff have been navigating the system and issuing work permits to undeserving people.
“On this particular one, I’m the first one to admit to you. The problem has not necessarily been those who apply for the work permits. Let us also be honest, the problem has also been on our end,” he said.
He confirmed that out of 2,000 work permits that have been verified so far, 13 have been found to be fake.
The verification will end on July 22.
“Where we will feel that there are some work permits that are not deserved, we will cancel them,” Matiang’i said.
Last week, Matiang’i was caught on video lamenting how an Indian international has had his work permit renewed since 2013 to be a supervisor at a construction site.
“You want to tell me just overseeing a construction site, there is no Kenyan who can do that?” he asked.
“We have Kenyans even with degrees who can do that,” he added.
See: [VIDEO] Matiangi angry with foreigners taking up local jobs
To end this, Matiang’i said they have instituted a regime to monitor how work permits are issued with a view to picking out officials who attempt to circumvent the process.
He told KEPSA officials present at the event that the current work permit issuance system gives priority to investors.
“The president has firmly instructed us that when it comes to investor and private sector work permit, we fast track them and we process them as fast as we can,” he said.
Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa said all the operations concerning the admission of foreigners into Kenya, including the issuance of passports, is leveraged against security.
“Security is very important because if it is compromised, then it also does not give incentives to the investors.”
He reiterated that any Kenyan citizen who attained dual citizenship before the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution must reapply for his Kenyan citizenship.
Outspoken lawyer Miguna Miguna was forced back to Canada on February 29 on grounds that he has to reapply for his Kenyan citizenship afresh.
Miguna attained Canadian citizenship in late 1980s under the old Constitution which stated that he lost his Kenyan citizenship.
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