Anyone employing an illegal migrant will go to prison for five years, according to a bill by MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) that passed its preliminary reading on Wednesday.

The bill, which passed with 33 in favor and 13 opposed,  will have to go through three more votes in the plenum as well as committee meetings before becoming law.

The legislation states that anyone who employs, aids or provides housing for illegal migrants must serve a five-year prison sentence or pay a NIS 500,000 fine.

Previously, the crime carried a two-year prison sentence.

“The infiltration issue, which has become the central social problem in Israel, must be taken care of quickly in order to help the weaker parts of our society,” Akunis said. “This bill will remove the incentive for infiltrators to come to Israel in order to find work.”