Cyprus Updates reports:
According to an article in Phileleftheros newspaper almost four thousands of aliens who were illegally in Cyprus last year left on their own, while many others were deported by decree of the Ministry of Interior.
According to Immigration Department figures from the last year 669 illegal immigrants presented themselves voluntarily at airports in Cyprus and asked to return to their countries. All of them had come to the free areas though illegally occupied North and nobody knew about their presence here. The majority were mainly Syrians and Moldavian, while the rest were from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and China. Another 3,332 illegal aliens who either came to Cyprus through legal channels but their residence permits expired, or were asylum seekers, but their request was rejected and remained illegally on the island, also left voluntarily.
The phenomenon of voluntary departures large wave of illegal immigration is mainly attributed to lack of employment and increase unemployment, but also the fear that sooner or later be arrested by the Police.
I am somewhat familiar with illegal alien situation in Cyprus. And in my personal opinion, police has not much to do with it. Police was never effective enough to scare people off the island. I think pretty much the only factor that is involved here is economy. When people from poorer countries could get in here, get a job, and earn enough money in summer season to take them through winter, when jobs are less, or enough money to survive in Cyprus and support their families back home – that was a good enough reason to break the law. After all, what’s going to happen in the worst case? They’ll put you in jail for a few days until they figure out where you are from and arrange the deportation, and then they will send you back home. Oh, boy, that’s scary. Right.
In the last few years the situation in Cyprus changed quite a bit. Tourism is down. Businesses are closing. Jobs are less. And life is getting more expensive. These are the factors that make people leave. Not the police.