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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Over 9k aliens kept out in 2016

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The Bureau of Immigration barred more than 9,000 foreigners from entering the country in 2016 as part of the government’s efforts to strengthen border security and thwart the entry of undesirable aliens into the country.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said Saturday the number of aliens barred from entering the country last year totaled 9,738, 45 percent more than those who were turned away in 2015.

“That we were able to stop these unwanted aliens from entering our borders is proof of our continued vigilance in the discharge of our mandate as gatekeepers of the country,” the BI chief said.

Most of the excluded aliens were denied entry after being identified as likely to become “public charges,” Morente revealed.

In immigration parlance, a public charge refers to a foreigner who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence due to his lack of capacity to support his stay in the country, making him an added burden to society.

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A foreigner may also be refused admission if based on the immigration officer’s assessment his presence here is considered inimical to the national interest, or a threat to public health and safety.

According to Marc Red Mariñas, acting BI port operations division chief, those turned back also included aliens who are in the bureau’s blacklist of undesirable aliens such as fugitives, suspected terrorists, and convicted sex offenders. 

“We also turned away foreign passengers who did not have entry visas and those who failed to procure outbound tickets, which is a basic requirement for foreign tourists,” Mariñas said.

It was learned that 2,034 Chinese nationals topped the list of excluded aliens, followed by 269 Indians, 179 Vietnamese, 163 Americans, and 119 Indonesians.

Although the bulk of the excluded aliens were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, a few were turned away in the airports at Mactan Cebu, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, and Davao.  

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