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Updates Regarding Immigration Crackdowns in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are yet again doing an update regarding Immigration Crackdowns here in the Kingdom. 

Something I would like to go ahead and preface this video with is it has been interesting over the past roughly two or three months to watch the differing methodology if you will; comparing the new Immigration Chief to the old Immigration Chief. In the past, where we used to see rather regular crackdowns that involved large numbers of over stayers etc., we are now seeing maybe the numbers are not so high although we have seen a number of raids wherein they found a number of over stayers, it appears the new immigration Chief seems a little most focused on foreign criminals who are using Thailand as sort of an entrepðt if you will, or using Thailand as a place to hide out rather than seemingly the focus being on finding overstayers etc. 

Now this could be two-fold. One, I think it is very possible that the number of over stayers has declined tremendously. I can say from having seen and worked in this field for the last two or three years, I think that is definitely probable and in fact I think that is the case. The high-profile raids and the roundups of multiple foreigners occurring seemingly random at first and then becoming quite a staple of the news here for a rather long period of time, I think that that acted as a deterrent against people living on overstay; staying in Thailand for a prolonged period on overstay. Moreover, as we have discussed in other videos, biometrics is now playing a part in precluding people entry from getting into the Kingdom where they have either got a criminal history or a problematic Immigration history because there is no real hiding from biometrics. You either have your fingerprint or you do not and as we have discussed in other videos, Immigration Police are using those tools with more of effect and as a result we are seeing people being again precluded from coming into the Kingdom. 

Now I am not going to so much quote directly from any one particular article here. I just want it noted the dates and the headlines here for lack of a better term. So Thai Visa, Big Oud Strikes: Foreigners and Thai Lady Boys on New Immigration Chief's Radar. So I will quote directly: "Press conference yesterday was headed by the man who is settling into the role as head of the Thai Immigration Bureau - Lieutenant-general Sompong Chingduang; known in the Thai Media as "Big Oud”. They go through here and note that a number of people were arrested and this has been in the past two or three weeks, a number of people were arrested for various crimes and deported from the Kingdom and in some cases Thais themselves were arrested in cases where they were harassing tourists.  

Another article. Immigration Intensifies Crackdown on Traffickers. June 25, 2019. Quoting directly: "Immigration Bureau has intensified its crackdown on human trafficking networks which has resulted in the arrest of several alleged smugglers", and they go through here and explain that there are various folks that have been caught in Thailand for illegal purposes. They also are going after people who are organizing groups of illegal workers to come into the Kingdom. 

Finally, article entitled: Immigration Police Arrest Foreigners for a Variety of Crimes. That is the Nation, That is June 28. There is quite a bit of information in here. I urge those watching this video read these articles. "Multiple people arrested for a variety of different crimes", of multiple nationalities. It is not Western, it is not Eastern, it is all kinds of people being arrested in these contexts.

The point I am trying to make with respect to this is, although the complexion if you will of Immigration Crackdown in Thailand is changed somewhat, we are not seeing the big high-profile raids that are nabbing hundreds of people, I think one of the reasons for that as I have already explained is there are just not that many people overstaying as there were and I also think that the new Immigration Chief, in that he comes from a background in the Border Police, I think his priorities may be slightly different. He seems to be looking for criminals here in the Kingdom. Not so much targeting massive numbers of over stayers etc., but targeting really problematic individuals and going after them. Now it is a mixed bag. I have also read articles in recent weeks on this channel, wherein we have discussed, still there are mass raids. Recently up in E-san there was a raid that was coordinated as before and it nabbed a number of people. 

How this is going to play in the future remains to be seen. That being said it is very clear to me Immigration continues to be serious about the enforcement of Immigration Law. I don't think it is a great time to be coming to Thailand to try and if you will step around the system or get around the system as I think Immigration enforcement authorities are nabbing those who are causing problems here in the Kingdom.