Eighteen Somali nationals including three minors were on Monday charged with being in the country illegally.
The accused, majority of whom are women, appeared before Mombasa resident magistrate G Kiage and denied the charges.
The court directed the accused to be remanded to await a report from the Refugees Affairs Secretariat on their status which is expected to include details from where they come from.
However, the three minors will be held in custody at Likoni children’s remand home.
Lawyer Nyange Sharia — representing the accused — had wanted the court to have them handed over to department of refugees’ affairs.
Mr Sharia said the department will investigate the accused and determine where they come from in addition to preparing a report.
“The report will help us to know how to proceed thereafter,” said Mr Sharia.
The court heard that on March 4, this year at about 5pm at Mwembe Tayari in Mombasa, being Somali citizens, the 18 were found unlawfully present in the country without any valid documents from the immigration department.
The case has been fixed for mention on Wednesday for further directions.