There is a menace growing rampant right in our midst — the increasing numbers of overstayers and illegal aliens who have taken to the streets and neighborhoods to pursue the art of beggary without fear of being caught and deported.
More visible in Jeddah than in any of the major cities of the Kingdom, these illegals have flagrantly taken their art of panhandling to practically every street corner in full view of the people charged with the task of detaining them. Another army of such people can be spotted rummaging through trash bins in search of anything of value that could be pawned off to recyclers for a few extra riyals.
Just why is this phenomena on an unchecked upswing is anybody’s guess but I suspect the problem is two-fold. Most of such illegal aliens hide or destroy all forms of personal identification on their arrival at this country. Once rounded up, it becomes practically impossible for the authorities to determine where to deport them.
The other problem lies in the lack of proper detention facilities. Once caught, what do you do with them? To overcrowd our meager detention facilities with the people on the loose and cause a human tragedy of great proportions?
The rising number of illegals from African and Asian communities has spawned minicities within the city. These minicities are run and governed by gang leaders of these respective communities. Crime has been a major byproduct of their unchecked activities. Drugs, prostitution and even armed robbery can be attributed to the residents of these neighborhoods where even cops fear to enter. And as the spider’s web of their activities grows wider around the city, no neighborhood is safe any longer.
So well controlled and managed are some of these illegal communities that it may serve our municipality well to take some lessons in city organization and planning from these rogues. So how can we go about fighting this menace?
I propose that detention centers large enough to house a hundred thousand or so illegals be built in the desert east of Jeddah with proper facilities. The current neighborhoods housing them must be raided and these individuals rounded up.
Those who can produce documentation and prove their nationality can be deported to the country of their origin.
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