Start carrying your ID's, people

Something you should be doing anyway, but here's another good reason to carry ID with you. From the Korea Times:

The Korea Immigration Service's crackdown on illegal immigrants this year has been met with controversy due to allegations its officers are making random checks on those who look like foreign workers.

Members of the legally residing foreign community are also upset at the failure to stick to a legal set of procedures.

"Immigration officials make raids on the street," said a foreign scholar in Seoul who spoke on condition of anonymity.

She said three Nepalese foreigners were grabbed on their way to get a haircut recently, while a pregnant woman was taken outside of the city last week. Others are caught during routine shopping errands, she said.

KIS spokesman Ahn Kyu-suk neither denied nor confirmed these allegations in an e-mail interview with The Korea Times, but simply cited the legal procedures.

Ahn said the Immigration Law dictates that "if foreigners residing here always carry a copy of their passport and alien registration card, the concerned shall satisfy the requirements of immigration and passport officials."

"Therefore, suspected foreigners in these circumstances must show their identification" during on-the-spot checks, the spokesman added.

No, this isn't Nazi Germany, and the 'papers please!' request probably sounds a bit nicer from the Korean police officer than German military personnel. Seriously, though, carry your ARC (Alien Registration Card) with you at all times. If you don't have it yet, carry another form of ID at all times (your old driver's license is probably acceptable). I don't recommend carrying around your passport unless necessary - something like that is harder to replace than you think, and more easily stolen than you think.

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe - 2009