Saudi Arabia today proposed a new immigration system whereby five million foreign workers of all nationalities would be deported, in a move it said would help rid the country of those living in it illegally.
Sadaqa Fadil, a member of the Shura Council, said a considerable part of the immigration to the country has not been for religious or work purposes but for permanent settlement which is "illegal" under Saudi law.
The official, who introduced the proposal, told Al-Hayat newspaper that the country has been facing "intensive and illegal immigration from some Asian and African states".
He called for continued tracking of illegal immigrants so that only those who the country needs can stay, and warned against a political dilemma arising in the future due to international demands to offer immigrants citizenship or national welfare.
A Saudi report said that some 40,000 Pakistanis were deported from the kingdom during the last four months. The deportations were informed to be due to visa violations, crime and security concerns.
Officials in the kingdom repeatedly call for a strict vetting process in order to reduce the number of foreign workers permitted to stay in the country.