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The government is set to begin a two-month crackdown next week on foreigners staying or working ille

S. Korea to crack down on illegal immigrants

The government is set to begin a two-month crackdown next week on foreigners staying or working illegally in the country, the Ministry of Justice said Thursday.

The crackdown, the third of its kind that will last through Dec. 9, will mainly focus on foreigners who work in entertainment services or those with criminal records, as well as companies that habitually employ undocumented foreigners and their brokers.

"The basic policy of our government is to flexibly expand legal stays and strictly regulate illegal overstays," Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon said.

The ministry said illegal immigrants caught in the crackdown will be ordered to pay fines before being deported and banned from reentry.

But those who volunteer to leave South Korea will be exempt from fines and will be allowed to return to the country.

In 2022, the number of illegal immigrants came to 411,270, compared with 355,126 in 2018, according to data posted on the ministry's website. (Yonhap)

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