Lately there have been a lot of crackdowns on illegal expats. Yesterday, while at the newspaper, I heard the guys talking about a raid on a publishing house near Kuwait Times in Shuwaikh. When I checked it out, it seemed that they were looking not only for illegals, but also anyone working part-time somewhere other than with their sponsor. It is not allowed for expatriates in Kuwait to work a second job or with anyone besides their sponsor.
The matter of part-time jobs and part-time work is actually a big issue on its own, which needs long debates and discussions. There are many businesses in Kuwait that rely on part-time help to survive and thrive and we have been suffering in Kuwait regarding this issue for many years. Sometimes the authorities are soft and lenient because they understand the needs of the business community, then all of a sudden for reasons unknown they consider it a crime.
The problem, and I’m not interfering in ministry affairs, is there should be a system in place for part-time work. For how many years we are hearing of different solutions to the supposed ‘expat’ problem, but the reality is that there should be a clear system and all should abide by it – each new minister comes and changes the law or changes the focus on which issues to deal with, according to, it looks like, political winds.
We are a country which needs foreign labor. No one can dispute this. And we need a lot of labor. There are tens of thousands of jobs that we are not ready to do, that our sons and daughters are not ready to do, that me myself am not ready to do. And we are blessed by God that we have the means to hire expats to do these jobs.
Can’t we arrange a proper system, for God’s sake? All our lives – from birth to death – will we talk about expats? Have we no other pressing issues in this country? Is this the nuclear dilemma of our time? Why can’t everyone meet – from the ministry of interior to social affairs to the municipality to the ministry of commerce, etc, etc – and hire expertise and sit and debate our labor needs and come up with a proper system?
Stop harassing people like this – as if they are rats and have no human rights. Kuwait helps a lot in the outside world. And our Amir was even recognized by the whole world as a humanitarian leader. Then the authorities come and spoil our reputation with these unjust and unfair practices and by not having a proper system and not punishing the real culprits who are selling visas to others and bringing them to Kuwait under false pretenses. Instead of punishing these guys, we are snatching workers off the streets and deporting them without even a trial.
And at the end of the day, after all this work and effort, the amount of people deported is so negligible that it won’t even make the traffic less or affect anything. We are a modern country – we should be advanced in every issue. We do need marginal labor. Get rid the criminals via the courts and get organized.
By Badrya Darwish