Ban on migrants sending money home to go into effect next week

By
September 2, 2013 17:27

Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar ready to implement new ban which will allow migrants to bring funds out of Israel only if they leave.

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Eritrean migrants protesting, Feb. 1, 2013

Eritrean migrants protesting 370. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

As of September 13, African migrants will no longer be able to transfer money out of the country following the signing of a new guideline by Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Monday.

The Interior Ministry said that Sa’ar also will help provide the tools to assist police in finding and charging Israelis who assist African migrants in transferring money abroad.

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The move, which was approved by the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee, allows for migrants to take funds out of Israel only when they leave the country, and only equal to a maximum of the Israeli minimum wage multiplied by the number of months they were in the country.

Also, last week Sa’ar said that Israel would begin deporting Eritrean and Sudanese migrants beginning after the High Holy Days. It was also revealed on Thursday that Uganda is the African country that had finalized a deal with Israel to absorb thousands of African migrants and/or allow them to use its territory as a transit zone.

The deal has been denied by the Ugandan Foreign Ministry.

Sa’ar has said that the new regulation is the latest in a series of steps Israel has taken to reduce the incentive for African migrants to come to Israel or stay in the country.

These include the amendment to the Law to Prevent Infiltration, which allows indefinitely imprisoning migrants who have entered the country illegally.

On Sunday, the Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority said that 168 African migrants voluntarily left the country in August, and that none had entered Israel, as opposed to 193 who entered the country last August.

They would not say how many of those 168 decided to leave while imprisoned in Israeli detention centers. Opponents of the voluntary returns say that agreeing to return cannot be given with consent if the only alternative is continued incarceration.


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