The government has over the past few weeks embarked on a programme it hopes will reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the country. It is conducting periodic swoops in a process being overseen by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
Understandably, rights lobbies such as Amnesty International have come out to condemn the move, citing violation of a number of rights.
While we agree that no law should be broken when dealing with the thorny issue of illegal immigration, we are also of the opinion that the government should continue a humane and methodical repatriation process of those found to be in Kenya illegally.
This should begin by proper and stringent controls at our porous border points. Nipping the problem in the bud is much better than waking up whole neighbourhoods in the name of smoking out illegal immigrants.
But this attempted clean up should not in any was spare those responsible for the mess. As security agencies peep into people’s houses, they should strike at the heart of the problem and deal with the mess at Immigration Department.
It will be ridiculous if crooked Immigration officials who sell work permits and identity cards for a song are not caught, prosecuted and jailed. If this is not done, we will be treating the symptoms of a much bigger problem that will eventually consume us all.
Lobbies are right to express themselves. But they should remain alive to the fact that the government first owes its allegiance to its citizens.?