Several illegal expats are gathering once again at Al-Sitteen bridge in Jeddah, despite efforts made by authorities and a recent inspection campaign. Complaints about these illegal foreigners include dirtying the neighborhood with garbage, which poses health risks for residents.
Most of the expatriates are from Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladesh and some African countries. The
Passport Department carried out numerous raids in the area in coordination with a number of government agencies and arrested dozens of people. Many of the violators under the bridge said they are trying to sell vegetables or others produces, while the municipality has removed the kiosks that were selling food due to health concerns.
Most of them do not have passports or any documents that could identify them. Despite the fact that Jeddah police cleared the site many times in the past, these illegal expats return time and time again.
Most of them are Africans who are still working without documentation and do not intend to go back home like thousands of their compatriots. Yemeni street vendors are also seen selling vegetables in front of several mosques in the city. Many of them are now temporarily employed as plumbers, as winter causes many problems in the plumbing system of homes, as well as some home appliances like heaters.
Jeddah police and Ministry of Labor teams have intensified their inspection campaign to weed out illegal foreign workers in the city and adjoining towns by checking on their legal status.
The joint inspection campaign is still ongoing with security forces conducting search operations following tip-offs from the Crime Investigation Department and other security organs. Over 41,053 illegal expatriates have been arrested by police in the city in the last three months, during a campaign aimed at apprehending violators of the Kingdom’s labor and residency laws.