'Only 700 African migrants can be deported'
JPost reporter says that arrests will appease public but is 'a drop in the ocean.'
Immigration officers escort African migrant in TA Photo: Baz Ratner/Reuters
This week, Jerusalem Post reporter Ben Hartman discusses the latest on the status of African migrants in Israel.
According to Hartman, the status of most of the Africans coming into Israel’s borders is unknown because their claims have not been examined; it is therefore impossible to determine who is an economic migrant and who is an asylum seeker.
“It’s better for the State of Israel to have them be in a state of limbo,” said Hartman. “Once somebody is considered a refugee you have to give them certain rights including the right to work or the right to move around freely.”
However, Hartman added that even though their individual statuses have yet to be defined, many have de facto protection because they have a group status as refugees who cannot be returned to either Eritrea or North Sudan.
Hartman ascertains that the ongoing round of deportation and arrests will have a minuscule effect on the overall population because the government is only able to deport people from countries that are not considered dangerous, including South Sudan, which accounts for less than 2 percent of the African migrants in Israel.