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Update on Immigration Raids in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Immigration Crackdowns here in the Kingdom.  

There have there been recent raids here in the Kingdom and these are continuing on a broader trend that had occurred basically for the last 2 years where we have got the “Good guys in, Bad guys out” initiative with the sort of more tactical Operation X-ray Outlaw Foreigner that is sweeping throughout the country and raiding various locations in order to find people who either came into the Kingdom illegally, remained in the Kingdom illegally  or in any other way violating Immigration laws here in the Kingdom.  

In a recent article from March 22nd, 2019 from the Nation, that's Title of the article: Immigration Tally of Foreigners Arrested hits 8,400. Quoting directly, "Another 490 foreigners were caught in the latest Immigration Police dragnet this week which involved simultaneous raids at 229 locales around the country.  It was the 46th Crackdown and brought the total number of locations searched to 7,145 and the number of arrests to 8,400." Quoting further: "The 27 from Myanmar, 9 from Cambodia, 4 from Laos, 3 from India, 2 each from China Vietnam and Russia and 1 each from France, Poland, South Korea and Canada allegedly either failed to report their stay at specified addresses or violated the law on foreign worker management." 

Now the reason I quoted that last part is I wanted to note a couple of things. First of all, this address reporting requirement, they are taking this increasingly seriously and I have seen multiple reports where they have said someone has been arrested. They haven't noted anything other with respect to overstay or anything, just failure to report one's address which is a violation to the Immigration Act here.  So it is a problem.  You really need to be cognizant of the fact that there are reporting requirements with respect to addresses.  Now that being said, hotels and things like that, they go ahead and deal with this; they have their own mechanism for dealing with this but those who are living in the Kingdom,  for lack of a better term, couch surfing, or just taking it day-by-day, be careful because this issue can be a problem. 

The other thing I thought was interesting mentioned here is “violation of the law on foreign worker management”.  I think again what we're looking at is Immigration is also very aware of those who are violating the labour laws here in the Kingdom; most notably those who are working without a work permit.  And for that reason, I think it is pretty safe to assume that if you are thinking of working in the Kingdom without a work permit, think again. It's probably not a great idea clearly.  Another thing to take away from this video 8400 arrested, but this is more important I think. Locations searched:  7,145 !! 7,145 locations have  been searched in Thailand since the initiation of this program and I am not even sure from the context of the article I can't tell if they mean what time period we are talking about but let's go all the way back to the inception of the "Good Guys, in Bad Guys out". That is only a couple of years ago.  So 7,000 in two or three years. That is a ton of wealth and resources that is being expended on doing these raids. They are very serious about this.  They want to make sure everybody is here in the Kingdom legally and they are maintaining their status legally and lawfully. 

So those who are thinking of not doing so, I think it is a really prudent idea to just do a border run. Or just leave. Get yourself back in status and maintain lawful status here in the Kingdom because failure to do so could result in prolonged detention. It could result in blacklisting where you are never allowed to come back to the Kingdom and nobody really wants that. I don't think anybody really wants that. I mean yes in certain circumstances certainly law enforcement apparatus wants to go ahead and deport criminals, but people who are just having issues with overstay or something I don't think anybody really wants to be blacklisting those folks. But that being said they are doing it and they are taking a hard line on this issue. As I have said in many of the videos, the overall paradigm has shifted from an attitude of administrative processing with respect to immigration over to an attitude of law enforcement. They view these as violations of the law and in some ways they view the people that are violating the law as criminals.

So, for that reason I think it is a good idea to stay prudent, stay aware of one's visa status, maintain one's Visa status and don't become part of one of these raids. You don't want to be detained and you don't want to be deported and you don't want to be blacklisted because those who are apprehended here in the Kingdom can be blacklisted for as long as five years on one day of overstay, if they are apprehended in the Kingdom.

So something to keep in mind. I don't think it is a good idea to overstay.  I never have and just be extra vigilant moving forward in maintaining one's Visa status.