House Calls for Stricter Immigration Vetting

02-04-2020 / KOMISI III

Commission III (law, security, human rights) of the House asked the Law and Human Rights Ministry to implement stronger immigration policies in every border checkpoint. It was one of the three conclusions reached in the virtual meeting between the Commission and the Law and Human Rights Minister Yassona Laoly.


“Commission III of the House calls on the Law and Human Rights Ministry to maintain strict immigration policies in every border checkpoint, by tightening supervision and monitoring of the traffic of foreigners or foreign workers. This step is taken in accordance with the prevailing laws and regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” said the Vice Chairperson of Commission III Adies Kadir in the conclusion of meeting, Wednesday (1/4/2020).


Several issues regarding immigration were raised by the Leaders and Members of the Commission, especially immigration-related issues during the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, when the pandemic started in Wuhan, China, an entry ban was imposed on Chinese nationals into Indonesia. However, an arrival of 49 Chinese workers was still reported in Southeast Sulawesi.


The news met with criticism at the time. One of the Members of Commission III, Cucun Ahmad Syamsurijal, urged the Ministry especially the Directorate General of Immigration to impose strict vetting protocols on all inbound travellers into Indonesia. This is merely to prevent the widespread outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.


“All relevant authorities responsible for screening inbound travellers must perform their jobs collaboratively and based on the same standard. The danger of the Covid-19 transmission must also be put into consideration,” stressed the National Awakening Party Politician in the working meeting. Minister Laoly explained that his Ministry has issued the Regulation of the Minister of Law and Human Rights Number 3 of 2020 on the temporary suspension of visa exemption, travel visas, and emergency stay permit policy. Therefore, since February, the number of Chinese citizens entering Indonesia has decreased significantly, and the country has no longer been in the list of top 10 visiting countries to Indonesia.


The Ministry has also issued a policy to prevent foreigners from entering Indonesia except those under official mission. All other visitors will be banned from entering into and transferring through the country. Besides immigration issues, the working meeting also reached a conclusion on the request of Commission III to the Law and Human Rights Ministry to enforce health protocol (Physical Distancing) during the Health Emergency situation in every correctional facility/detention facility by, among others, reducing over-capacity in the facilities.


This procedure should also apply particularly to those who are vulnerable to contract Covid-19. The Ministry also needs to continuously monitor the health of all detainees/inmates and correctional and takes necessary steps to anticipate the spread of Covid-19. The third conclusion is that the Commission called on the Ministry to finalize Bill on Correctional Services and Bill on Criminal Code (KUHP) to improve the Criminal Justice System and reduce over capacity in the correctional/detention facilities where risks of disease transmission could potentially be higher.

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