There have been pressures on the Kuwaiti government to rebalance the “demographic imbalance”, in which expats make up an estimated 70 percent of its 4.3 million population. This has led to the escalation of hostile sentiments against expats, and the tightening of laws and regulations to discourage them from staying in the country. Rights groups have criticized the Kuwaiti government for its handling of the deportation of expats, sometimes on flimsy grounds.
Kuwait’s Directorate General of Residence had announced Saturday that over 19,000 expats were deported in 2016, while two-thousand expats were deported from Kuwait in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics obtained by Kuwaiti Al-Qabas daily.
The deportations were carried out under Assistant Undersecretary for Nationality and Passports Major General Mazen Al-Jarrah, who said that among the deportations were a number of citizens from Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC) states who had been deported for criminal activity.