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Growing anti-expat reports make residents uneasy – ‘Deportation fears raise anxiety’

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 4: In response to the Arab Times’ weekly online poll, the majority of respondents shared that anti-expat news makes them feel uncomfortable.

Discriminatory decisions in the health sector and the relentless crackdown on expatriates in recent times have been a cause of great anxiety for expatriates living in Kuwait. “Every day, you read the newspaper and find a new story about how the government is restricting medical services to expatriates, or deporting scores on account of a brawl. The news paint a very hostile picture for us. There are also rumours that the new Jaber hospital will be exclusively for Kuwaitis. How can you build a hospital just for Kuwaitis and not be accused to racist or apartheid policies?”, a respondent shared.

“Kuwait is offering exemplary humanitarian assistance to the world but is divesting from its expatriate workforce in the country”, another voter remarked. 16% of expats shared that they want to make this country a better place while 18% shared that they were here just to make money and then return home.”I am an expatriate who was born in Kuwait and continue to live here. I love this country because this is where I grew up, I will always think of it as my home. I want the government to see me as a contributor to the growth of this country, someone who is helping to build the country up and not tear it down”, a young South Asian expatriate shared.

19% felt that the security and standard of living here is much than that of their home country. “Expatriates continue to stay in Kuwait despite all the negative aspects of life here. The truth of the matter is that life in Kuwait is more secure and comfortable than what many of us would have in our home countries.”

12% of voters felt that they were living under constant threat of deportation. “While the situation is no longer as tense as it used to be during the crackdown on residency law violators, expatriates still live under fear of deportation because the rules can change any day. It is understandable for expats to be deported on account of criminal activity and other grave violations, but if you can be penalised in the same way for traffic violations or other minor offences, we will always be on edge.”

By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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