The Jakarta Post
The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) administration is mulling over a plan to relocate hundreds of illegal immigrants living in the capital city of Kupang, on Timor Island, to Ndana Island in Rote Ndao regency, which is adjacent to Australia.
NTT Deputy Governor Joseph Nae Soi said on Monday that the administration was discussing the issue with private parties and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The administration expressed concern that the presence of the 430 immigrants could trigger social conflict.
Joseph explained that the majority of immigrants, who hailed from countries in conflict such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, ate healthy and high-priced foods, and in their spare time, went to the gym or shopped in the city’s malls.
“Locals, meanwhile, can only watch the immigrants [living such luxurious lifestyles]. We are afraid this may lead to social conflict,” Joseph said. “Some of the locals might think of becoming immigrants because their cost of living will be borne by the United Nations,” he added, as quoted by Antara.
Therefore, the administration would look for investors willing to build temporary shelters for the immigrants on Ndana Island, a 13-square-kilometer island under the supervision of the Indonesian Military (TNI).
Some of the immigrants are living in hotels across Kupang because the city’s immigrant detention center is full. (vny)