Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — Security forces in Saudi Arabia detained more than 20,000 undocumented expatriates in the first two days of their clampdown on foreign migrant workers, most of them from Indonesia and Yemen, according to reports.
Thousands of undocumented expats are desperately seeking to get arrested and deported as a last resort to end their plight, as most of them have failed to meet the conditions laid down by the authorities at the Deportation Center during the grace period.
In Jeddah, the Palestine overpass at the intersection of Prince Majed Street has become a popular place for foreigners to stage sit-ins demanding arrest and deportation.
It was Indonesian expats who chose this spot for their arrest the day after the amnesty ended. After staging a 12-hour sit-in, they were finally picked up by police who transferred them by buses to the Deportation Center in Makkah, said reports.
This tactic was followed by Yemenis, Pakistanis, Ethiopians, Somalis and others.
Some 600 Filipinos, mainly women and children, were arrested near the Philippine Consulate and sent to Shumaisy Deportation Center in Makkah.
Diplomatic sources say Saudi security forces are dealing with the illegal expatriates in a cooperative and humane way.
“All arrested expatriate will be scrutinized by security authorities for possible involvement in any crime and their nationality will be confirmed by the consulate of their country. Only then will they be deported,” said a Jeddah police spokesman.