KUWAIT: According to sources at the interior ministry, around 30,000 expatriates were deported in 2022, 660 of which were judicial deportations, while the rest were administrative deportations. The expats were deported over a variety of crimes and violations, including drug use, fighting, theft, brewing alcohol, expired residencies and not adhering to the laws of Kuwait.

"Around 17,000 men and 13,000 women were deported. Among the male deportees, 6,400 were Indians, 3,500 Bangladeshis and 3,000 Egyptians. As for women, the deportees included 3,000 Filipinos, 2,000 Sri Lankans, 1,700 Indians and 1,400 Ethiopians," sources revealed.

Meanwhile, sources reported the interior and health ministries will respond to parliamentary requests to coordinate to cancel the permits of expatriates being treated at the psychiatric hospital and deport them. "The health ministry has listed the names of expatriates who are being treated at the psychiatric hospital and categorized them according to the severity of their illness. Those with chronic mental illnesses are in focus, and not those being treated for minor issues. The names will be reviewed by the ministries, as some of the expat patients are almost residing at the hospital, while others are staying there permanently," sources revealed to Kuwait Times.

"The health ministry said around 9,272 expatriates that have a file at the mental health hospital, and most of them also have driving licenses that might endanger motorists and pedestrians on the streets. The number of medicines prescribed to expatriates has exceeded 15,000 prescriptions over the past five years," the sources said.

"The deportation of mentally ill patients is the country's right, and the interior ministry can issue the law without the need of legislation from the parliament, especially if it sees the country is harmed by them. The only thing the interior ministry needs is a decision that adds patients with files at the psychiatric hospital to the list of those who do not meet the requirements of renewal of residency permit," sources explained.

"The file is part of the country's efforts to reduce the number of expatriates and correct the population imbalance to restrict expatriate workers to the needs of the labor market in Kuwait. This will mean that many who are not needed will be deported. This is not a human rights issue, as their stay in Kuwait is temporary and connected to the rules of iqamas and work permits," sources added.