: Employers prefer to get illegal immigrants to work for them because of cheaper cost, Immigration Director-General Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said on Monday.
He said a total of 566 employers had been detained since January until June 1 this year for harbouring and employing illegal immigrants.
"The trend now is employers engaging illegal immigrants because they can give lower wage, compared with locals,'' he told Bernama recently.
He said a total of 19,968 illegal immigrants were also detained during the same period for various offences.
Most of the illegal immigrants are Indonesians and Bangladeshi, totaling 7,490 and 4,065 people, respectively, he added.
He said the offences included entering the country without valid documents, over-staying and violating their permit.
Mustafar advised employers to register illegal immigrants under their employment for the temporary 'Enforcement Card' or E-Card before June 30 to avoid any action.
The E-Card programme, introduced last Feb 15 in the peninsular, was intended to accommodate employers'' request to meet the workforce in permitted sectors. The card will be valid until Feb 15, 2018.