New Immigration Bureau chief Jaime Morente urged overstaying foreigners to legalize their stay in the country or face deportation as he vowed to step up the campaign against illegal aliens.
Morente said he would not allow the country to be used as haven for foreign criminals and undesirable aliens.
“Undocumented foreigners or overstaying aliens must leave the country or otherwise they would be locked up in jail before being deported,” Morente said.
But the new BI head claimed that he would let thousands of overstaying foreigners to correct their stay and give them a chance to enjoy living in the country.
There are more than 100,000 undocumented foreigners in the country, the BI record shows.
The new BI commissioner urged employers who are harboring illegal aliens to make their stay legal or let their foreign workers leave the country.
“Let them go home,” Morente advised employers who are harboring illegal aliens.
Morente, who was a former Davao City police chief, however, welcomes foreigners to come and visit the Philippines.
“They are always welcome as long as they register their stay in the country,” said Morente, a graduate of PMA Class of 1981.
Morente also plan to establish a counter-intelligence operation against employees who are engaged in illegal activities.
“We’re making it our mission to account for all overstaying and undocumented aliens to negotiate for their unauthorized stay for a fee,” Morente added, stressing that improving the bureau’s revenue collections are high on his agenda.
In a statement, Morente listed his three key priorities: strengthening the border control; improving service efficiency and ridding the bureau of corruption.
On President Rodrigo Duterte’s directives to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications, Morente said he will simplify the frontline services to meet the 72-hour processing mandate, eliminate red tape by reducing the number of processors and signatories, and modernizing the current Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-card system for efficiency and anti-cyber attack purposes.