11 Jan 2007

Cook Islands immigration minister redrafting legislation to crackdown on illegal workers

11:40 am on 11 January 2007

The Cook Islands immigration minister, Wilkie Rasmussen says the government is looking at redrafting legislation to crackdown on illegal workers.

He says it is an ongoing problem, and often the families of illegal workers are also involved.

He says the first step is to schedule meetings with the different ethnic groups, in a bid to bring about change.

"There are people who've been brought into the country under working conditions requirement of entry, but once they arrived the situation changed and in some cases the employers didn't want anything to do with them so these people then became overstayers. They stayed on without any reference back to immigration department. And then others who deliberately breached requirements of their work permits."

Wilkie Rasmussen says anyone found to be breaching the country's immigration laws faces getting deported.