After the government deported Spanish environmental activist Alex Gonzalez-Davidson on Monday, the opposition CNRP has called on the Interior Ministry to turn its attention to thousands of Vietnamese immigrants living in the country illegally.
In a letter dated Tuesday and addressed to Interior Minister Sar Kheng, 11 opposition lawmakers write that tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are polluting the country’s waterways, causing social instability and committing crimes including murder, robbery and illegal fishing.
Mao Monyvann, one of the lawmakers who signed the letter, said Thursday the CNRP wanted to see the country’s immigration law enforced fairly.
“The [Interior Ministry’s] immigration department took action and deported Alex to his home country, so for the millions of people that are illegal, they have to implement the immigration law,” Mr. Monyvann said.
“Many Vietnamese people are living in both the provinces and the city,” he said, adding “those Vietnamese are living illegally in Cambodia.”
The Interior Ministry has deported about 1,300 foreigners—including more than 1,100 Vietnamese nationals—since a nationwide census began last year.
Uk Heisela, chief of investigations at the immigration department, said the CNRP was welcome to report specific cases of illegal immigrants to his department.