DA’s stance on illegal migrants could fuel xenophobia

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers’ For Human Rights warned against the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) election campaign on illegal immigrants.

The group said this could fuel xenophobic tensions, especially in already volatile communities.

The DA on Monday said its research shows South Africans take issue with undocumented foreigners.

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It blamed the ANC government for the failures of Home Affairs to fast track immigration applications.

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DA immigration spokesperson Jacques Julius said,” Staying away from the issue will help no one. I think the DA is very brave to actually go into the issue and taking the issue on, we know it is a very very sensitive issue."

The party has taken a cautious approach, proposing an amnesty period to allow undocumented foreigners to get regularised or face deportation.

"Home Affairs in 2017 said it 384 000 people coming into the country from Zimbabwe, but only 27 000 can be accounted for. That tells you there is a huge problem," said DA Gauteng Premier Candidate, Solly Msimanga.

Sharon Ekambaram from Lawyers for Human Rights said, "I think it smacks of politicians being racist and opportunist as we come up to elections, it appears to be popular and what South Africans would want to support. The danger is that it is going to fuel Xenophobia in our communities."

The Democratic Alliance will today unveil their plan to tackle illegal immigration, secure the country's borders and fix the deep rooted problems at the Department of Home Affairs.


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