The Israeli Immigration Policy Center on Thursday expressed support for the High
Court of Justice’s decision to reject a request by pro-migrant rights groups’ to
temporarily freeze the state’s new African migrant policy before it is fully
The NGO supports the rights of long-time residents of South
Tel Aviv to be free from the negative impacts of a large volume of illegal
migrants and called the request for a policy freeze “groundless at its
Yonatan Jakubowicz, the NGO’s director, accused the groups of
trying to harm democracy and the rule of law by trying to disqualify a policy
without a full hearing and due process.
Pro-migrant groups wanted to
prevent implementation of the policy until the court heard their petition to
strike down the new policy as unconstitutional, which would void orders sent to
500 migrants to present themselves at a new “open” detention center in the
The new policy was passed into law in December 2013 on a
rushed-basis following the court’s striking down the previous policy as
unconstitutional in mid-September 2013.
Earlier this week, south Tel Aviv
residents also showed support for Interior Minister Gidon Sa’ar, showing up for
a private visit at his house to thank him for his efforts in leading the way to
passing the new policy in the Knesset.
In a video that showed Sa’ar
joined by the residents, who were holding banners such as “Gidon Sa’ar – our
children thank you,” the interior minister told the residents, “there is nothing
that can divert us from our goal.”
Sa’ar continued in the video, “We will
continue with actions which will encourage [migrants] to leave voluntarily, we
see a significant rise in illegal migrants leaving voluntarily.”
added, “We will continue to reinforce the feel of personal security in the
neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv.”
A spokesman for the Israeli Immigration
Policy Center organized the show of support after the media attacked Sa’ar for
his position on the migrant issue.
The new policy permits Israel to place
new illegal migrants in closed detention for up to a year pending determination
of their refugee status. It permits placing illegal migrants who were present
before the law was passed in an “open” detention center
Many of the migrants have responded by refusing to remain
in the open detention center and with protests and marches, while the state has
then arrested many of the migrants.