The East Java Manpower Agency said it would cooperate with police and immigration officials to conduct raids on thousands of expatriates working in the province without the proper authorization.
"Raids will be conducted simultaneously in a number of companies on Aug. 19," Setiadjit, deputy head of the agency, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
The agency has records of only 638 expatriates working in East Java. Police records, however, show a total of 5,784 expatriates residing in the province.
"This indicates there are thousands of expatriates working here without licenses or a clear status," Setiadjit said.
He said his office would not hesitate to deport them unless they could obtain the necessary documents required under the prevailing regulations.
He added stern legal measures would be taken against companies illegally employing expatriates. The violation carries a penalty of between one and four years in prison, or a fine of between Rp 100 million (US$11,000) and Rp 400 million ($44,000).
Setiadjit said raids would also be carried out on expatriates violating their working permits, including by holding posts not open to them.
"The same strict legal measures will also be taken against such violators," he said.
The presence of so many alleged illegal expatriates, he added, had cost East Java a loss in monthly income of $514,600. That value is based on the assumption a company employing an expatriate has to pay a $100 monthly fee.
Setiadjit said the nonfinancial loss was no less a concern, especially because such violations had the potential to create problems related to drug dealing, espionage, terrorism and intellectual property rights violations.
However, he declined to say which sectors expatriates gravitated toward, claiming such a disclosure could affect security in the province.
"They usually fool immigration officers by using work licenses for night shift workers or technicians of imported machines," he said.