The IDF has launched a campaign to dissuade soldiers finishing their army service from traveling to the United States to work illegaly without the proper visa, Channel 2 reported on Monday.
For years young Israelis have been entering the United States on tourist visas in order to work temporarily and save money. The IDF campaign specifically mentioned work at mall kiosks which sell Israeli products such as Dead Sea cosmetics.
The IDF's manpower division noticed that an increasingly large amount of discharged soldiers were working illegally in the US and in some cases being caught by American authorities and penalized.
"This kind of work is advertised by many companies in Israel as offering a lot of money and takes advantage of the discharged soldiers desire to see the world and make a living," the IDF wrote in a pamphlet distributed to soldiers.
The IDF warned that "in most cases this crime brings with it a lifetime ban from entering the United States and on some occasions time in federal prisons."
The IDF campaign did not mark the first time that young Israelis have been warned about the penalties of illegally working in the United States.
In 2011, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv put out a video warning Israelis about the consequences of working in the US without the proper documents.
The video shows testimonials of Israelis who were caught working in the States without proper work visas and relating the legal problems they faced. They also describe how they were duped by recruiters in Israel and business owners in the States, who told them that they shouldn’t worry about not having the proper visa, or told them just to come on a tourist visa and they would acquire a work visa for them at a later date. The video tells viewers that US border officials are well-coached on how to root out those who are lying about the purpose of their visit to America and that “the price is too high” if one is caught.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.