Immigration is outdated: Processes not yet handled through one- window mechanism

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Illustrated. (photo: IO/Yoga)

IO, Jakarta – “Indonesia must be able to generate a positive image with other countries in the world in order to obtain free visa entry to these countries. One of the issues being highlighted is the rampant distribution of illegal Indonesian Migrant Workers (“IMW”),” said Bebas Visa Co-Founder, Ivan Ronaldo, in the discussion titled “How Far Is Our Progress in terms of Free Visa?” held by Bebas Visa community at R2R, Pancoran, South Jakarta (05/07/2019). In this case, the Bebas Visa community will help Indonesia to clear up its good name in relation with the presence of illegal IMW. “We want to dispel the notion that Indonesia is a lawless country. We seek to dispel the idea that all of our IMWs are illegal, that all Indonesian citizens leaving the country are actually candidate illegal IMWs. We seek to dispel these rumors,” he said.

Meanwhile, Immigration Analyst from the Directorate General of Immigration Agung Sampurno also noted that many negative behavior of Indonesian citizens abroad make it difficult for us to earn free visas. There are always complex issues relating to the Government’s sending citizens abroad. “When we send out two million IMWs to Malaysia, the issue is not really about the people being two million in number. It is more about the ideology that they carry, the crimes they might perpetrate, and the people’s individual behavior as well,” he said.

Furthermore, Agung reminds that in order to obtain free visas, Indonesian citizens must be ready to face incoming aspects of foreign culture. “That includes our acceptance of tourists, and our openness to accept tourists from countries that are ideologically different from ours,” he said.

Agung Sampurno also notes that Indonesia’s immigration concept is outdated. For example, the issue of Foreign Migrant Workers (“FMW”) that was once hot in our homeland. According to him, when we talk about FMWs, control is no longer in the hands of the immigration office, but in the hands of the Minister of Labor. “The Directorate General of Immigration is not involved in this; isn’t that funny? That the Immigration Office has nothing to say when they talk about the immigration diaspore?” he said.

Furthermore, policies concerning citizenship lies in the hands of the Directorate General of Law and General Affairs of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, especially in terms of the Citizen Register, while refugee issues are within the jurisdictions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. “This is the cause of our incomplete immigration policies. In the global context, everything should be handled by the Immigration Office,” Agung said.

Agung finally stated that Indonesia is outdated in comparison with its neighboring countries. There, all immigration issues are handled through one window. “If we go to Singapore, we would see that they integrate customs, immigration, police, and the Citizen Register,” he said. “On the other hand, Indonesia’s Directorate General of Immigration is so small, while the issues it face are so big.” (rei)