The Sowetan/Sapa, 29 May 2008

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Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Thursday indicated that government might issue identification papers to all illegal immigrants currently in the country. Briefing the National Assembly’s home affairs committee on the outbreak of xenophobic violence, Mapisa-Nqakula said illegal immigrants posed a serious security threat to the country if they remained undocumented. “For the security of our country it’s important to have a record of everybody in the country. For those who are already in the country government will have to look at various options,” she said. Currently, it was difficult for police to track illegal immigrants wanted for crimes because home affairs did not have their records. “Whether it’s temporary permits, or some other form of identification, it is important to have them documented,” she said. She did not say when the process might start, but said the issue had to be looked at once the current xenophobia violence had been dealt with.