Most of them come from the Horn of Africa :Illegal immigrants to Yemen on the rise [Archives:2004/777/Front Page]

September 30 2004

Official sources have reported a new and unprecedented wave of illegal immigrants coming from the countries of the African Horn. According to sources in the Ministry of Interior, last week alone, more than four hundred illegal immigrants were apprehended while trying to enter Yemeni shores. Those individuals were mostly of Somali and Ethiopian origin. Among them were 71 women. The arrests took place mainly in the provinces of Shabwa and Hadhramout after they were forced to leave their boats.
Apart from those arrested while trying to enter the country illegally, more than 50 Somalis were arrested last week for staying in Yemen without permits and entering the country illegally.
Security measures have recently increased inspection operations of suspected illegal immigrants throughout Yemen. The steps are to ensure the legal status of foreigners in Yemen from various nationalities, and apprehending those in violation of immigration laws and sending them back to their original countries, or to refugee camps if their return becomes impossible. The majority of immigrants to Yemen are from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. However, other illegal immigrants from other countries have also been identified.
The issue of refugees and illegal immigrants has caused a substantial and negative impact on the country's economy as they continue to flock into the country in greater numbers. The effect is to increase competition for the scarce employment opportunities and burden the economy, which is already suffering.