PM: Broad plan to solve migrant issue

Cabinet to discuss migra

November 1, 2009 08:34
1 minute read.

As the grace period granted to children of illegal foreign workers and their families came to an end on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the solution to the issue would be "part of a comprehensive plan that will solve the problem of foreign workers in Israel." Netanyahu was speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, which focused on the planned deportation of the migrants. Defense Minister and Labor leader Ehud Barak spoke of his party's opposition to the deportation on Sunday morning. "We are opposed to the deportation of the children of foreign workers in Israel," he said at the Labor faction meeting. "It is a humanitarian issue that Israel, as a Jewish state, must take a moral stance on, in accordance with its values." "Nevertheless, we understand that the whole issue of foreign workers who infiltrate Israel illegally requires thorough and deep action," he added. Although ministers have yet to make a final decision on the fate of the children, sources in the Interior Ministry have indicated that their deportation is unavoidable. There are, however, a significant number of ministers in favor of granting citizenship to the children and enabling them and their parents to remain in the country permanently. Interior Minister Eli Yishai reiterated his backing for the deportation ahead of the crucial cabinet meeting. Speaking to an Israel Radio reporter, he also asserted that "most ministers think like me," and that the foreign workers children should realize that "their holiday is over." An anti-deportation rally has been called by the Israeli Children campaign for Sunday in a park near the Tel Aviv central bus station. Meanwhile, speaking to Army Radio on Sunday, Welfare and Social Services Minister Yitzhak Herzog slammed as "out of place" comments made Saturday by Yishai that foreign workers brought diseases into Israel. "Tarring one community or another with the same brush and saying they have diseases is totally unacceptable," said Herzog. Speaking to Channel 2, Yishai had said that according to data provided by the public security minister, hundreds of thousands of foreign workers "with tuberculosis, measles, hepatitis, AIDS and drugs" were heading to Israel.

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