New team to monitor foreign nationals
The government plans to establish a new team overseeing foreign nationals residing in Indonesia.
Maroloan Barimbing, head of Immigration at the Bali office of the Law and Human Rights Ministry, told reporters on Wednesday that the new team would help the Immigration office oversee the presence of foreign citizens on the island.
“The Immigration office has a duty to closely monitor foreign nationals living here. But we need help from other institutions to effectively supervise and monitor them,” Barimbing said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting to disseminate law No 6/2011 on the supervision of foreign citizens.
The law stipulates that a national team will be established all over Indonesia, including Bali. The team may consist of several parties. In Bali, the team will be formed from the Bali Police, the office of National Unity and Community Protection, the Public Order office, Manpower office and other institutions.
“The team will have special authority to impose sanctions on foreigners who violate the law and regulations. But it will not have any authority with regard to deportation,” he said, stressing that the authority to deport a foreign national will remain with the Immigration office.
Members of the team would be able to impose sanctions related to their field of responsibility. Citing an example, the Manpower office may sanction foreigners found to be working illegally without the required documentation.
At present, the government has a liaison body that coordinates related institutions dealing with foreigners. However, this body does not have any authority to enforce sanctions against lawbreakers.
“The new team is expected to replace this body as it is authorized to enforce legal action against violators,” he said.
Barimbing said that the tight supervision was needed since many foreigners were coming to and staying in Bali.
“A number of foreign citizens have violated working and residential permits. Many more foreigners are involved in a variety of legal disputes and even criminal acts,” he added.
The law also covers foreign visitors to Bali.
Barimbing acknowledged that the planned special team would ease the workload of the immigration office. He pointed out that the local immigration office only had 300 personnel and they were responsible for monitoring more than 2 million foreign tourists, as well as thousands of expatriates from numerous countries.
“Hopefully we will be able to form this team soon so we will be able to work together monitoring foreigners,” he said.
The Bali administration warmly welcomed the plan to form a special team for supervision of foreigners. Head of the Bali office of National Unity and Community Protection, Jaya Suartama, said that the new team would ease the burden on the local administration. “Currently we are only able to oversee matters, but have no authority for legal process.”