DIAC Newsroom - 22 Jul 2011: The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Australia will begin planning today for the removal of illegal workers identified in a joint operation with New South Wales Police in the Riverina.
Immigration compliance officers from the Sydney and ACT Regional Offices with NSW Police from the Griffith Local Area Command, detained 20 unlawful non-citizens (UNCs) from China for breaches under the Migration Act.
A spokesman from the department said warrants were executed at several private residences in Griffith, after information from the community.
“Several people spoken to by compliance officers at these residences were identified as not holding valid visas,” the spokesman said.
“These people were immediately detained and taken to Griffith police station.”
The operation – on July 21 – also resulted in a number of vehicles being stopped and the occupants’ immigration status checked. Several people were also not holders of valid visas, nor were they entitled to work in Australia. Among these, a Chinese woman, who had escaped immigration custody after arriving in Darwin unlawfully, was found hiding in one of the vehicles.
“The department will not tolerate unlawful non-citizens living and working in Australia,” the spokesman said.
“The group, which comprises eight men and 12 women, will be taken into immigration detention at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre until their removal from the country.”
The circumstances of their employment are under further investigation.
Members of the public with information on UNCs in the community or illegal work practices are encouraged to contact the DIAC community dob-in line on 1800 009 623.