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265,000 Koreans Live Abroad Illegally

Posted October. 21, 2005 03:04,   


About 265,000 Koreans live overseas illegally, according to documents the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade submitted to the Unification, Foreign Affairs, and Trade Committee of the National Assembly for its annual inspection.

The documents, up to date as of end of August, counted 265,031 Koreans living abroad as illegal aliens.

The breakdown by continent showed that 192,989 people are in the Americas, 71,451 in the Asia-Pacific region, 517 in Europe, and 54 in the Middle East and Europe. The breakdown by country indicates that the United States has the highest number with 180,000 Korean illegal migrants, followed by Japan with 43,151, Philippines with 23,000, Canada with 10,000, Australia with 2,619, Mexico with 2,400, and China with 2,230.

In the case of Philippines, it is presumed that the actual number of illegal aliens with Korean nationality would be more since there are a lot of cases where Koreans enter the country without a visa and then obtain a temporary residence visa through bribery.

Meanwhile, it is confirmed that the number of Koreans who are confined in prison in foreign countries due to crimes such as drug trafficking is 435, and the number of last year`s cases where Koreans overseas are involved in crimes of murder, robbery and etc. is 2,132.

Recently, states have begun enforcing their immigration controls more strictly. Last month, the U.S. Congress passed legislation which would add 1,000 border control officers. Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also emphasized that his department would put an end to the “arrest and release” policy and return illegal migrants to their country of origin without exceptions.

Jae-Young Kim redfoot@donga.com