Illegal Immigrants Pour into Yemen [Archives:1998/02/Local News]

January 12 1998

Yemen Times learned that some 1,000 illegal economic migrants come every month into Yemen from Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. The majority of these people are males, although, there are few females. Civil wars and political strife in these countries are to blame for the deteriorating economic standards which drive these people away from their countries. They cross the narrow sea divide into Yemen with the aid of criminal elements in return for money. Most of them tell Yemen Times that Yemen is not their final destination. They have their eyes set on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, using Yemen as a stepping stone. Whoever among them falls in the hands of the Yemeni authorities, he or she ends up in jail awaiting repatriation. At this moment, there are some 300 Eritrean, Somali, and Ethiopian illegal immigrants in the Hodeidah and Taiz prisons awaiting repatriation to their countries. Given the financial burdens, embassy officials of the countries have not been involved.