Arab Times March 13’s issue carried the following piece of interesting news: “in less than 10 minutes, the Friday Market, which normally attracts crowds of shoppers from ‘dawn to dusk’ wore an abandoned look this weekend.” The reason behind the abandonment of the Friday market was due to a surprise campaign conducted by the Tripartite Committee affiliated to the Council of Ministers (Arab Times March 13 2016). In another security crackdown, 1,390 illegals will face deportation because they violated residency law.
The last campaign lead to the “filing of five criminal cases, 25 civil cases, 365 absconding cases, 56 Residency Law violations, 429 without valid identifications, two narcotic-related cases, 356 marginalized workers, 25 indecent public behavior, one alcohol intoxication case, 153 expired residency permits and 35 offenses against the public, in addition to issuance of 283 citations for different traffic violations and impounding of six vehicles” (same source).
One might blame the current sponsorship system for few of the problems residents and expats face in Kuwait. However, it is obvious that those who violate our labor and residency laws do so intentionally. Those who will be deported soon violated the residency law and acted consciously.
These culprits do not represent the majority of our expat population who are honest, hardworking, law-abiding residents. When a resident absconds from their legal sponsor whether a company or an individual sponsor, they certainly do so because they do not respect our national laws. It is not far-fetched to argue here that those who purposely violate our residency laws are already used to braking the law before they showed their ugly faces in our country! A criminal mind will always reveal its evil intentions anytime or in any place it sees fit.
A violator of the labor law must have violated numerous laws in their home country. Moreover, it is very annoying for us as Kuwaitis and law-abiding expats to be exposed to a group of thugs, underserving and manipulative people. Those who come to work in Kuwait seek to improve their economic and financial conditions and they work very hard to achieve their goals. However, those who come to Kuwait and start engaging in illegal activities do not deserve any kind of sympathy when they are arrested. I would even encourage our government to deal harshly with anyone who dares violate the most basic laws in our country.
Increasing the number of security sweeps against illegals, frequently initiating surprise checkpoints, immediately deporting law violators, imposing a huge fine on negligent sponsors….continue to represent the most effective methods to curb criminality. Once again, I call on the Ministry of Interior to increase its security campaigns and focus more on highly congested areas like industrial and bachelor blocks in or around residential areas. Our law-abiding expats can help our security men by informing about obstinate violators of residency and labor laws.
By Khaled Aljenfawi