Since the first week of November, when Thailand reopened to foreign tourists, more than 3,000 migrants have been arrested for alleged illegal entry into the country.
Media reports said most came from Myanmar and Cambodia and were heading to the capital, Bangkok, and surrounding provinces to look for work.
In the past week, Thai border police arrested at least 2,800 “illegal migrants,” including people from Myanmar who were trying to enter Thailand.
Thai authorities are faced with the difficult choice between stopping irregular immigration, which has been tagged as one of the reasons of the spread of COVID-19.
A year ago, official data indicated 2.32 million immigrants registered in Thailand, but independent estimates noted a bigger number of people.
The Ministry of Labor has earlier launched a campaign to encourage unregistered immigrants to regularize their position by the end of November.
Observers, however, said it is unlikely that it will result in the registration of 600,000 new workers within the year as foreseen by the ministry.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha this week expressed concern about the reported illegal entry of workers.
The country’s Defense ministry has earlier reported that over 30,000 illegal migrants have been intercepted and deported since the beginning of the year.