Hossein Ebrahim, the Friday Mass Imam for Anar in Kerman Province, has been approached by residents to take action against new legislation that bars Afghan immigrants from living in certain provinces.

The Etemad daily reported on Wednesday December 19 that for the third day, Anar farmers gathered with the Friday Mass Imam, who is also the owner of a pistachio orchard, “to think of something for their Afghan workers.”

Ebrahimi told Etemad that the people want the legislation removed because they need the Afghan workers in order to run their pistachio orchards.

Afghan immigrants have recently been facing residence restrictions in several Iranian provinces. In the meantime, Iranian authorities have stressed that all Afghan immigrants in Iran need to be documented or they will be removed from the country and barred from ever returning.

The Fars News Agency also reports that since the barring of Afghans from certain provinces came into effect, orchard owners have had problems finding workers for their farms and they have been demanding that the governor’s office takes action to resolve the issue.

Etemad writes: “Afghans have been barred from Anar since a few weeks ago, and the residents are now running into difficulty in finding farm help.” Etemad adds that workers’ wages have gone up due to the recent events.

The Anar governor has stressed that only people holding valid passports and work permits are allowed to work in Anar.

The Anar representative in Parliament has said, however, that the removal of Afghans from provinces that depend on their work needs more planning.