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Stop the repression on migrants in the name of G-20 summit

On May 4, 2010, the Ministry of Justice announced the on-set of the “intensified crackdown period” beginning in June 1, 2010 until August 31.

According to their released copy, the guidelines will be advertised in newspapers starting May 6, and will end on May 30, 2010. Afterwards the “Intensified Crackdown” begins on the 1st of June until August 31, 2010.

The government is once again offering the voluntary departure program to the undocumented workers within this period. They claim that all migrant workers who voluntary leave Korea within this period will be exempted from paying a fine for overstaying and will be exempted from a 5-year immigration ban in Korea.

They also said that the workers who voluntarily leave will be able to take the korean language test.
The employers are also encouraged to surrender their undocumented workers so that they can be exempted from paying the fine of up to 20 million won. They will also be able to hire EPS workers that would replace their lost manpower.

Pic: immigration

The procedure for the employers would be to accompany their undocumented employees to the Airport Immigration office with a airline ticket orto the Immigration office where they are under jurisdiction. They would need to bring proof of their business registration and employment/wage records for the undocumented workers. Once they do this, both the worker and the employer will not be punished.

If they fail to do this however, the workers will be arrested and detained in the immigration center and will be held there until the fines are all paid. After they have been deported, there will also be a 5-year ban imposed on the undocumented workers caught. The new provision also states that this would be the general protocol even after the crackdown period.

The employer can pay up to a maximum of 20 million won in fines and a 3 year ban on hiring EPS workers.

They have also stated that these procedures are being done in preparation for the G-20 summit that Korea will be hosting in November.

On May 4, 2010 the National Police Agency announced that they have also started the “G-20 Preemptive Response” last May 2.

According to their press release, the “special” investigation and arrest will be done in preparation for the G-20 Summit in November.

They have stated that as the foreign population increases, so do the crime rate in the foreign population. Starting on May 2, 2010, the police force will conduct special investigations in areas where there is a high concentration of foreigners. The investigation will continue for fifty days on the national level. For the Seoul region the investigation will continue for two weeks.

Since majority of the foreign population in Seoul are 75% Chinese. It is easy to surmise that the target for arrests are primarily these ethnic groups. Areas specific to one nationality are classified as target areas or target locations such as the following: the Chinese in Yeoungdungpo, Guro and Guemcheon areas. Mongol in Junggu Gwanghuidong Mongoltown. Vietnamese in Seongdonggu, Geumcheongu and Seongbukgu. Russians and Uzbekistan in Junggu Gwanghuidong Russian street. Finally, the Nigerians in Yongsan and Itaewon.

According to their press release the target of their investigation are the following: 1) Foreigners who are suspects in a crime, 2) Foreigners who are in possession of deadly weapons (knives, etc.), 3) Foreigners who have pending arrest warrants, 4) Sex workers and their costumers and 5) Undocumented migrant workers.
According to their statement, the procedures would involve day and night raids in suspected areas as well as random street checking of the foreign nationals.

The “Foreigner Crime Concentration Investgation” is evidence of the RACIAL BIAS, RACISM and CLASS DISCRIMINATION of the KOREAN GOVERNMENT aimed towards all migrant. The G-20 Summit is just a convenient alibi for them to justify their attack against the migrants of this country.
The Ministry of Justice is again using the kick-out scheme under the guise of the “voluntary departure program”, not even giving consideration to the long waiting list of job seekers in labor exporting countries. Also, they have just recently reduced the quota of foreign workers for this year despite the labor shortage in the manufacturing industries. Another factor that they refused to consider is the employability of the undocumented workers citing the fact that a considerable number of undocumented workers are already way past the age limit to be qualified for work. These seniors are by no means less productive. On the contrary, because of their work experience the seniors have higher degree of skills compared to the new workers.
The announcement/report circulated by the National Police Agency is proof that they are targeting individuals according to ethnicity and social background. They have seriously pointed out that the concentration and focus of this action are toward migrant workers.

The Chinese, Mongolian, Vietnamese, Russian, Uzbek and the Nigerians, to name just a few. Special target areas are also named like industrial complexes, factories and areas where there is a high concentration of foreign population.

They have also labeled undocumented workers as “criminals” so that they can justify their arrest. These undocumented workers are productive individuals that contributes their labor. They give back to the community by being consumers. They give back to the society by sharing their culture. They give back to the economy by indirectly paying taxes in everything that they purchase. They create commerce by creating a demand. They export the Korean culture and products. Most of all, they make it a point that they do not disadvantage anyone in the community for fear of endangering their stay in Korea. They are criminalized for not having a piece of paper. To lack a piece of paper is not a crime!

We highly condemn the recent order of battle of both the Ministry of Justice and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Force agency against the foreign community in Korea. The recently introduced protocols are in clear violation of the human rights laws and standards. It is not only unconstitutional it has also violated treaties and conventions from international governing bodies like the UN.

We heavily criticize the Korean dictatorship government of Lee Myeong Bak against the institutionalized commodification of human beings as reflected by the repressive national policies instituted under his dictatorial term. All of the policies introduced by the Korean government up to this day has proven to be self-contradictory to the concept of a Korean multi-cultural society. Today, Korea has once again reverted to barbarism and violence by adapting the failed immigration protocols in the past where death and injuries were rampant. It seemed that the hundreds of lives lost and ruined from the crackdown is not enough to move their conscience. They are willing to sacrifice the lives of migrants in image-building for the G-20 Summit.



2010. 5. 6.

Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants Trade Union

Source: email