Immigrants to get identity cards at B-G

Edri tells 'Post' reform "right thing to do to prevent unnecessary hassles."

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 5, 2007 23:37
1 minute read.
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In a reform called "revolutionary" by Jewish Agency officials, new immigrants will soon be able to get their identity cards upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport, Immigrant Absorption Minister Ya'acov Edri told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Sunday. Edri told the new director of the Interior Ministry's Population Registry, Ya'acov Genot, on Sunday that this was the first reform he wanted to enact. Edri said Genot told him the matter would be dealt with immediately. "We will do this for all the immigrants," Edri said. "There will be an Interior Ministry official at the airport who will give them the card on the spot. It's the right thing to do to prevent the immigrants from facing unnecessary hassles." Until now, immigrants have had to go through a lengthy process and wait in long lines at the Interior Ministry to receive an ID card, which enables them to start receiving benefits from the state. The Nefesh B'Nefesh aliya organization eases the process for its olim by obtaining the cards and bringing them to the immigrants' new towns a few days after they move to Israel. But even Nefesh B'Nefesh has never succeeded in getting the Interior Ministry to distribute identity cards at the airport. "Any efforts to expedite the aliya process for immigrants is welcome and we are happy that the new absorption minister is leading such a process," Nefesh B'Nefesh spokeswoman Yael Katsman said.

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