Labor proposes solution for African migrant issue

According to bill, 2,000 refugees would be absorbed yearly, and others would be returned to their home countries.

June 26, 2012 15:36
1 minute read.
Shelly Yacimovich

Shelly Yacimovich. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Labor submitted a bill defining refugees’ rights on Tuesday, representing the party’s new policy on migrants.

Opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich (Labor), Labor MKs Avishai Braverman and Daniel Ben-Simon, as well as MKs Shlomo Molla and Nino Abseadze of Kadima composed the bill.

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The legislation, which the 94-MK coalition is unlikely to approve, calls for a process by which a committee will determine the status of migrants entering the country.

Each year, 2,000 refugees will be absorbed and recognized according to international standards, and others will be returned to their home countries.

The bill explains that, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics, there will be 9.6 million residents in Israel in 2030.

Should the legislation pass, refugees will only be 0.375 percent of the population in 18 years.

In addition, Labor suggests in the bill’s explanatory section that the government drastically reduce the number of foreign workers brought in each year, and return those whose visas have expired, thus making it possible to train refugees and migrants to work in agriculture, construction and other fields.

“The Jewish people have experienced persecution and pogroms, and it is a moral imperative that we lend a hand to refugees of genocide,” Yechimovich stated. “At the same time, we must protect the Jewish nature of the State of Israel and its sovereignty.”

According to the Labor leader, the bill is meant to make up for the state’s mistakes, in that it does not have a clear policy on refugees and foreign workers.

“We see many refugees settling in areas that are already weak. This leads to personal insecurity and a difficult economic situation, followed by incitement by elected officials.

The situation is dangerous,” Yechimovich added.

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