The Meaning of Immigration: Its Occurrence Factors, Types and Roles in National Sovereignty

Understanding Immigration – In the current era of globalization, this means that there is no space and time limit for each individual to relocate.

In any country, there must be rules regarding the immigration process for Foreign Nationals (WNA). This immigration process is a kind of authorization done by individuals before entering the territory of another country.

So, what exactly is the meaning of immigration? How is the legislation governing immigration in Indonesia? Let’s discuss together!

Understanding Immigration

Etymologically, the terms emigration, immigration, and transmigration are both derived from the Latin language meaning displacement of people.

A brief definition of immigration is the movement of people from one country to another. A person who does immigration activities is called an immigrant.

This immigration activity is of course regulated by the laws that apply to all immigrants or foreigners in Indonesia. Even the legislation has given its own definition of what immigration is.

According to article 1 paragraph 1 in Law Number 6 of 2011 on Immigration, what is meant by immigration is ” the right of traffic of people entering or leaving the territory of the Republic of Indonesia as well as its supervision in order to maintain the sovereignty of the State .”

Based on the definition of the law, it can be deduced that there are two important regulatory elements, namely:

  1. Arrangements on various matters concerning the traffic of people entering, exiting, and staying from and into the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.
  2. Arrangements on various matters regarding the supervision of foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.

In addition, the International Conference on Emigration and Immigration held in Rome in 1924, gave a definition of immigration which is ” a movement of people entering a country with the intention of earning a living and settling there. 

The immigrant identity check process (TPI) is usually carried out at ports, airports, or certain places that have been designated by the previous government as entry or exit points to Indonesian territory.’

Immigrants who violate the provisions of the Immigration legislation will of course receive appropriate sanctions and penalties.

Another element in the immigration process is the supervision of Foreign Nationals (WNA) who enter and reside in Indonesian territory. The supervision is done to control or monitor the existence of the foreigner until the activities of the foreigner are in accordance with the applicable Immigration provisions or not.

Driving Factors for Immigration

1. Economic Factors

Economic factors are usually one of the reasons why individuals or groups of individuals do immigration activities. Immigrants usually have the idea that by doing immigration they will open up opportunities to advance their own economic well-being or perhaps it can be called earning a living in other people’s countries.

2. In the country itself, the economic standard is low

As a result of the decline in the economy of their country of origin, immigrants will flock to immigrate with the aim of improving the standard of living system.

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The countries that are used as the destination for immigrants are Germany and some other European countries. This is because in that country there is economic prosperity to obtain a better life.

3. Socio-Cultural Factors

Social and cultural factors also play an important role in the process of encouraging immigrants to do immigration activities. For example in the country of Korea which has a K-Pop culture and is loved by the world community, causing many immigrants to immigrate to the country because they are attracted to its K-Pop culture.

4. Political Stability Factor

Politics is closely related to the way of government in a country. If the politics in a country is less stable, it will make its people “migrate” to other countries. For example, in the case of immigrants from Afghanistan due to the government being taken over by the Taliban.

Factors Attracting Immigration

  1. There is hope to gain opportunities in improving the standard of living
  2. There is an opportunity to get a better education
  3. Environmental conditions and living conditions that are considered more pleasant. For example climate, schools, public facilities, etc.
  4. There are activities in big cities and places of entertainment.

Types of Immigration Violations

Violations in the field of immigration that are often committed by foreign nationals, namely:

  1. Abusing the residence permit owned
  2. Being in Indonesian territory by using a fictitious sponsor
  3. Not reporting any changes in civil status, domicile address, employment, and sponsor to the local Immigration Office
  4. Entering Indonesian territory using a fake visa and passport that does not belong to him
  5. Applying for a passport using a false identity
  6. Involved in a network of human trafficking syndicates
  7. Drug smuggling

The Role of Immigration in National Sovereignty

Operationally, the role of immigration in Indonesia always contains three functions, namely the community service function, the security function, and the law enforcement function.

1. Community Service Functions

In this first function, the aspect demanded in immigration activities is excellent service in the field of Immigration, both to Indonesian Citizens (WNI) and Foreign Nationals (WNA).

Services for Indonesian citizens usually include

  • issuance of passports,
  • Passport Validation Travel Letter (SPLP),
  • Cross Border Pass (PLB), and
  • giving signs to leave or enter.

Meanwhile, services for foreign nationals include the granting and extension of Immigration Documents (DOKIM) in the form of:

  • Limited Residence Permit Card (KITAS),
  • Permanent Residence Permit Card (KITAP),
  • Special Immigration Facility (DAHSUSKIM),
  • extension of visit visa,
  • granting permission to re-enter or leave and
  • the signer leaves or enters.

2. Law Enforcement Functions

In Immigration duties, the entire rules of immigration law must be enforced for every individual in Indonesian territory, whether they are Indonesian Citizens (WNI) or immigrants.

The law is aimed at avoiding the problem of false identity, sponsor liability, ownership of multiple sponsors, up to the violation of immigration rules.

While law enforcement against Foreign Nationals (WNA) is usually on the problem of:

  • falsify identity
  • registration of foreigners and the issuance of foreigner surveillance books
  • misuse of residence permit
  • enter Indonesian territory illegally
  • and others.

In the case of law enforcement, this has a pro-justicia nature, that is, where the authority of the investigation, includes investigative tasks (summoning, arrest, detention, inspection, search, and seizure) related to filing cases and submitting case files to the public prosecutor.

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3. Security Functions

Immigration can function as a gatekeeper in a country. This is because immigration is the first and last institution that “screens” the arrival and departure of foreigners to Indonesian territory.

For Indonesian citizens (WNI), the implementation of this security function is carried out by preventive measures to leave the country.

While for Foreign Nationals, the implementation of the security function is done with the following things:

  • Examination of visa applications in order to select against each purpose for the arrival of foreigners.
  • Collaborating with the security apparatus of other countries in providing supervision regarding the enforcement of immigration laws.
  • Conduct immigration intelligence operations for national security
  • Preventing and countering violations in the field of immigration.


The Role of Immigration Against the Threat of Terrorism

Acts of terrorism are part of transnational crimes that are carried out in an organized manner that threaten national and international peace and security.

Prevention of terrorism can be done with the immigration process. How do you do that?

Because in the immigration process, there is surveillance that limits the right to freedom of movement abroad as well as entering the country. So, from the restriction it is hoped to be able to break the link between the terrorism network abroad and the terrorism network within the country.

Even with the immigration process, there will be attempts to revoke passports and citizenships for perpetrators of terrorism, as has been arranged in Article 12b paragraph 1 of the Law.

In addition, based on article 12A paragraph 1 which reads ” any person who intentionally and against the law enters into contact with any person who is in the country and/or abroad or a foreign country will commit or commit a criminal act of terrorism in Indonesia or in the country other, shall be punished with a minimum imprisonment of 3 (three) years and a maximum of 12 (twelve) years”

Based on the article, it is clear that anyone who commits acts of terrorism will face the law through the immigration process, to prevent them from “running away” to other countries.

Immigration has the principle of selective policy and an important immigration intelligence function. The two elements became a great collaboration in an effort to counter the flow of non-military threats entering Indonesian territory.

An example is the case of the arrest of 4 Foreign Nationals (WNA) of Chinese origin at the Bogor Regency Immigration Office. The foreigner was arrested because the immigration (intelligence) department analyzed the existence of a case of drug cultivation in the Bogor region by Chinese nationals.

In addition, there is also a case of malpractice committed by a foreign doctor, Randall Cafferty, at the First Chiropractic Clinic, Pondok Indah Mall. The foreign doctor killed a local patient. The immigration authorities can examine and interview the foreign doctor because he applied for a visa at the representative office abroad, so that the case can be resolved by the authorities.