ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia’s foreign ministry says more than 1,300 citizens have been expelled from Saudi Arabia in “recent days” after a warning for undocumented migrants to voluntarily leave the Gulf nation expired.
Ethiopian officials have said more than 70,000 people have returned home since Saudi Arabia in March ordered all undocumented migrants to leave. Those who don’t face forced deportation and a range of fines.
More than 400,000 Ethiopian migrants are estimated to live in Saudi Arabia, most working as domestic workers and farm workers.
Most Ethiopian migrant workers enter Saudi Arabia illegally through neighboring Yemen and send home money which, in many cases, is the only means for relatives to get by. Human Rights Watch has estimated that Ethiopian migrants globally sent home more than $4 billion in 2015.