The Knesset will pass a new anti-migration law, Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu promised in his speech to the Knesset Monday.
“We will prevent
illegal infiltration into our land, which threatened our Jewish identity,”
Netanyahu said at the Knesset winter session’s opening ceremony.
prime minister committed to helping residents of south Tel Aviv and Eilat, who
he said cried to him because their neighborhoods were flooded with
According to Netanyahu, the combination of a border fence,
economic laws, international dialogue and holding facilities reduced the number
of migrants crossing into Israel.
In mid-September, the Supreme Court
overturned the amendment to the Infiltration Law, which allowed Israel to hold
those who enter the country illegally for up to three years in detention centers
pending a review of their refugee status. The court ruled that the state must
examine the asylum requests of each of the migrants kept in the Saharonim
detention center within 90 days.
“If necessary, we will pass another law
that works with the High Court ruling [to overturn an anti-migration law], and
we will have sovereignty over our borders,” Netanyahu said.
On that note,
Tomer Rosner, the legal adviser for the Knesset Interior and Environment
Committee proposed that an open facility could be used to house illegal African
migrants, allowing their basic needs to be met but without mandatory
confinement, with the freedom to come and go as they please.
a meeting about the migrant issue Monday, Rosner said they would not be kept
under guard, but would not be legally able to work in Israel. Under the
proposal, the state would also worsen the legal consequences for people
illegally employing migrants.
The proposal was presented during a meeting
of the group called by committee head MK Miri Regev (Likud) to examine ways to
deal with the migrant issue.
Also during the meeting, attorney Avi Himi,
the head of an interior ministry committee examining the migrants issue, said
that the ministry has ruled that 99 percent of the hundreds of Eritrean migrants
whose asylum requests they have examined are not refugees.
He added that
regardless of the fact that they are not recognized as refugees, they are still
afforded group protection and thus cannot be deported.
Meretz MK Michal
Roisin called on the government to take steps to deal with the issue on the
national level and, in her words, not to issue empty promises.
government has told them [south Tel Aviv residents] that we’ll kick them [asylum
seekers] out, well put them all on buses and take them to a third country or
somewhere else. They keep telling them instead of telling them that this is a
national problem that must be dealt with.”
Roisin added that the country
could disperse the African migrant population around the country to lessen the
burden on south Tel Aviv.
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