Saudi king orders delay to illegal worker crackdown

By REUTERS
April 7, 2013 00:46

 
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RIYADH- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Saturday ordered a three-month delay to a crackdown on migrant workers which has led to thousands of deportations, to give foreigners in the kingdom a chance to sort out their papers.

The world's top oil exporter has more than nine million expatriates whose remittances home provide important revenue for countries including Yemen, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

"King Abdullah directed both the Interior Ministry and the Labor Ministry to give an opportunity to workers in breach of the labor and residency regulations in the kingdom to clarify their status in a period not exceeding three months," said a statement carried on official media.

More than 200,000 foreigners have been deported from the country over the past few months, a passports department official said in comments reported by al-Hayat daily this week.

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