Ministers vote to increase punishments for employers of illegal residents

Many recent terrorist attacks were by Palestinians who entered Israel illegally; their employers are endangering Israelis, Erdan says.

February 7, 2016 22:44
1 minute read.
Jerusalem checkpoints

Arab residents are searched by soldiers as they pass through a checkpoint during the height of stabbing attacks in Jerusalem. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Employers of people who are in the country illegally will have to temporarily close their business, if the latest terrorism-fighting measure from Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, which the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved on Sunday, becomes law.

Erdan pointed out that most of the terrorist attacks in recent months were perpetrated by Palestinians who entered the country illegally.

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“In the recent wave of terrorism, it has been proved how dangerous it is that illegal residents can be found in the centers of cities and in construction sites,” Erdan said. “Employing illegal residents is a plague that comes from weak punishments.”

Erdan said those who employ people who are in the country illegally or provide them lodging must be harshly punished so that it will not be worth it for them to do so.

“Whoever employs illegal residents is endangering the lives of Israeli citizens,” he stated.

Erdan’s bill, which was unanimously approved by the ministers, gives the police the authority to close for up to 30 days a business or construction site in which an illegal resident was employed or living. A court may also keep it closed until the end of proceedings and take away or suspend their licenses and permits.

The proposal would set a sentence of up to two years in prison or a NIS 75,000 fine for anyone who employs or provides lodging for an illegal resident once.

The minimum fine would be NIS 5,000. For a corporation, the minimum fine is set at NIS 20,000 and the maximum is NIS 300,000.

A repeat offender or someone who employs or provides lodging for more than one illegal resident can be imprisoned for two to four years or pay up to NIS 75,000, with the minimum fine set at NIS 10,000. A corporation that is a repeat offender would be fined between NIS 40,000 and NIS 452,000.

A court would also be able to confiscate anything a business earned by employing the illegal resident or its monetary value.

The bill also expands the definition of an employer or provider of lodgings to include anyone who did so indirectly, like anyone who hires subcontractors who employ illegal residents.

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