KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait has stepped up deportations of expatriate workers this year, a newspaper in the Gulf emirate reported Friday, with most expelled for outstaying their residency permits but others sent home for traffic offenses.
In the first four months of the year, authorities deported 14,400 expats, compared with 26,600 in the whole of 2015, Al-Anba newspaper reported.
Expatriates make up some 70 percent of Kuwait’s 4.3 million population, greatly outnumbering its 1.3 million citizens.
In April 2013, then Labor Minister Thekra Al-Rashidi had announced plans to deport around 100,000 expatriates each year for the next decade to reduce the number of foreigners living in the emirate by one million.
The government made a string of traffic offenses punishable by deportation, including skipping red lights and driving without a license, a document difficult for many expats to obtain.
Al-Anba said most of the deportations were carried out without trial, using powers given to senior Interior Ministry officials.