In a major operation against illegal migrants in Australia, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has detained 20 Chinese migrants who were staying and working illegally in the country. DIAC will remove the illegal workers identified in a joint operation with New South Wales Police in the Riverina.
Warrants breaches under the Australian Migration Act were executed at several private residences in Griffith, after information from the community.
“Several people spoken to by compliance officers at these residences were identified as not holding valid visas,” a department spokesman says.
Immigration compliance officers from the Sydney and ACT Regional Offices with NSW Police from the Griffith Local Area Command, detained the unlawful non-citizens (UNCs) from China.
“These people were immediately detained and taken to Griffith police station.”
In the extensive operation on July 21, officials also stopped a number of vehicles and checked the immigration status of the occupants. Several people were also not holders of valid visas, nor were they entitled to work in Australia. Among these, a Chinese woman, who had escaped immigration custody after arriving in Darwin unlawfully, was found hiding in one of the vehicles.
“The department will not tolerate unlawful non-citizens living and working in Australia,” the spokesman says.
“The group, which comprises eight men and 12 women, will be taken into immigration detention at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre until their removal from the country.”
The circumstances of their employment are under further investigation.
Members of the public with information on UNCs in the community or illegal work practices should contact the DIAC community dob-in line on 1800 009 623.