ADL to Israel: Let foreign workers’ kids stay

The ADL’s statement echoes those of many of Israel’s human rights organizations.

August 11, 2010 03:41
1 minute read.
Children of foreign workers climb a metal bookcase in Tel Aviv as their parents meet .

311_foreign workers' kids. (photo credit: Ariel Schalit/AP)

The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday joined the chorus of groups and individuals calling on the government to reverse its decision to deport children of foreign workers and their families.

The ADL called on the government to extend, on humanitarian grounds, the protection of legal status to all of the children of foreign workers now in Israel rather than create a distinction that would result in about 400 of them being deported. The organization said it would be more humane to apply Israel’s new policy for determining whether children of foreign workers can stay in Israel to future cases.

“The issue of status for the children of foreign workers is complex, and the government of Israel has had to weigh numerous considerations, including the impact on Israeli society, current Israeli immigration law, and the impact on the families of these foreign workers,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director.

“That being said, the 400 children now in Israel who do not meet the guidelines for legal status as determined by Israel’s new policy should be grandfathered in and permitted to stay on humanitarian grounds. Going forward, this new policy can be implemented.”

The ADL’s statement echoes those of many of Israel’s human rights organizations as well as dozens of liberal ministers and MKs.

On August 1, the cabinet established criteria for children of foreign workers to remain legally in Israel.

Under this new policy, an estimated 800 children of foreign workers will be permitted to stay in the country, and approximately 400 children who do not meet these conditions are to be deported within a month.

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