SOME Members of Parliament from Kigoma region on Friday raised concern in Parliament with regard to an ongoing operation mounted by officers from Immigration Department which seeks to identify illegal immigrants.
The lawmakers appeared not to be amused by the operation following reports that some individuals with national IDs in Kigoma region were not spared from the exercise.
Lucky enough, Minister for Home Affairs Mr George Simbachawene gave thorough explanation to the MPs in the House, telling them that having a National Identification Authority (NIDA) card is not an excuse that exempts an individual from being questioned on their origin when need arises.
He insisted that the government will question and when needed, conduct search and inspection to get details of place of origin of any person whose citizenship is in question. The minister brought to an attention of MPs and the general public that in the past three months, the government nabbed over 1,000 illegal immigrants, insisting that exercise would be on-going.
As it is known all over the world national security is an integral component for any nation and its people to engage in development activities.
It is argued that national security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic power, diplomacy, power projection and political power. According to immigration Regulations, one of its functions is to ensure national security is highly observed and maintained.
The general public must understand that one of the steps that any nation takes to maintain national security is to ensure illegal immigrants are identified and repatriated to the countries of their origin or given shelter depending on the reason that cause them to flee their countries.
Arguably, the Immigration Department has every legal reason to mount the operation as it helps to keep the country safe as it has been proven that some illegal immigrants are known to involve themselves in a number of criminal activities in host countries such as drug smuggling, armed robbery and even terrorism.
However, for the department to succeed the public must help the government stop illegal immigration by informing security organs about people who enter the country through unofficial routes.
The immigration department alone cannot win this war against illegal immigrants who see Tanzania as their safe destination, but only through closer cooperation with local people.