Give Green Card

Vietnamese non-citizens in Cambodia may soon become legal citizens of the country, the Cambodian government pledged at a February 27 meeting.

According to the Phnom Penh Post, it is possible to understand the Cambodian government's new plan for stateless, unlicensed residents like the US Green Card program.
Speaking at the 27 February meeting of the Cambodian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Nouv Leakhena, the head of the Cambodian Immigration Department, said the plan was an acknowledgment of the Cambodian government to non-citizens living in Cambodia. Cambodia, including the Vietnamese.
"Many people live 20 or 30 years in Cambodia, even before the Khmer Rouge, and they do not have any homes or family in Vietnam." said by Leakhena.
According to Cambodian officials, those who have arrived in Cambodia before 2012 can be granted a two-year paper, which allows them to become "permanent residents" similar to the US green card program.
That means that those who have lost their papers, who have been "stateless persons" for decades in Cambodia will soon receive a new personal certificate.
Previously, starting in October last year, Cambodian authorities began recalling alleged "abnormal" documents from tens of thousands of Vietnamese. However, this does not mean that Phnom Penh will expel these people as some western newspapers reported.
This group, together with stateless persons, will register with the government, as a foreigner, if the conditions are met.
"Not all of them will be recognized as permanent residents." When these people come to register, we still have to check the records, but I believe almost everything will be" said by Leakhena

Increase tax revenue
The Cambodian government's new move has been welcomed by several human rights groups.
However, according to Lyma Nguyen, the lawyer representing Vietnamese victims in the Khmer Rouge trial, Phnom Penh should be flexible in dealing with the Vietnamese problem in Cambodia.
According to Lyma, many Vietnamese who own legal papers and have been Cambodian citizens may have been deprived of their legal papers. And even if they were Cambodian citizens, they would still lose at least seven years to their former status.
"The government should look at individuals, families, and the neighborhoods of hungry people" said by Lyma.
 Leakhena said the centerpiece of the "Cambodian Green Card" program was not a move to legalize the status of Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia.
Pointing to recent moves in Thailand and Malaysia, Leakhena said that the government is only trying to control Cambodian immigrants and that the Vietnamese are just one of them. The main goal is to increase tax revenue from illegal foreign workers in Cambodia, which has cost the country nearly $ 23 million in 2017.
Cambodian officials acknowledge that the vast majority of illegal foreign workers are Chinese. They follow the flow of capital into Cambodia, participate in the construction of casino and hotel and create social implications for Cambodia.
According to Leakhena, starting from day 1-3, within a month, foreign employers in Cambodia must report and apply for work permits for the labor they are hiring. Past the deadline, unregistered workers will be deported.



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