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Thai immigration officials raid market

Thai officials crackdown on illegal immigration in Bangkok.

A group of migrant workers sprint through a market in Bangkok during an early morning immigration raid.

Fourteen people – mainly from Myanmar- were detained for being in the country illegally.

It’s all part of a massive immigration crackdown on people who have entered Thailand, or who are working in Thailand, illegally.

According to the International Organization for Migration, most of the three million migrants currently working in the country are from Myanmar.

And locals say they’re afraid of losing their jobs to Burmese migrants because….

The Burmese are more diligent than Thais, this shop owner said. Thai people are just lazier.

Back in the 80’s and 90’s migrants from across the Greater Mekong Delta and other parts of Asia were pouring into the country doing backbreaking work that the locals weren’t interested in.

Now, more than two years after the military seized power and with the economy on shaky ground, human rights groups say the system needs to be overhauled.

“The reality is that Thailand depends on migrant labour for many of the things that it produces and exports. And, you know, the government and the Thai police need to consider that when they start thinking about how they’re going to crackdown on people that they’ve decided arbitrarily shouldn’t have this or that type of job. “

Agreements with several countries in the region say migrant workers can only hold jobs as manual labourers or cleaners.

Voiced by Julie Noce

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