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UPDATED: 10:58, January 08, 2007
Cook Islands to crack down on illegal immigrations
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Cook Islands immigration authorities are preparing a crackdown on people working in the country illegally.

Radio Cook Islands said Monday a list of foreigners working without proper documentation has been given to Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Wilkie Rasmussen.

However, any deportation orders were understood to have been put on hold until after the festive season, said Radio Cook Islands.

Rasmussen was reported planning to first meet with community leaders from the different groups, such as the Fijians, Samoans and Filipinos, to discuss the issue and the issuance of work permits.

Questions have previously been raised about the number of foreigners, especially Fiji people, working in the Cook Islands. Foreign workers have been brought in as employers try to overcome the loss of Cook Islanders -- who are New Zealand citizens -- to New Zealand and Australia.

There have also been disputed claims by some local interests that Filipinos, Indians and Fiji people have set up businesses in competition with locals.

Source: Xinhua

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