Afghan refugees cross the border into Afghanistan’s Nimroz Province after they were deported by Iran. (file photo)
Iranian lawmakers have proposed new legislation that would impose severe prison terms on undocumented migrants and allow security officers to shoot at vehicles suspected of carrying them.
The move would affect members of Iran’s estimated 3.5 million-strong Afghan community, many of whom have no legal status or basic rights.
Observers say Iranian authorities are keen to prevent a new influx of Afghan migrants and refugees as violence is intensifying in neighboring Afghanistan, where the devastating 19-year war has displaced several million people.
Under the bill — submitted by Iranian lawmakers on November 26 — undocumented migrants entering or residing in Iran would face prison terms of up to 25 years.