4-year-old Filipino girl born in Israel faces deportation

PIBA: Contrary to media reports, situation is not unprecedented; girl is "far from being on borderline of meeting the state criteria to stay."

By
August 16, 2011 19:32
2 minute read.
A demo for children of migrant workers (Ariel Jero

Migrant demo 190. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

 
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A four-year-old Filipino girl born in Israel was arrested with her mother Tuesday morning in Tel Aviv and awaits deportation at a special holding facility in Ben- Gurion Airport.

The girl was born in Israel and was enrolled in a staterun daycare facility but did not meet criteria that would allow her to stay in Israel.

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According to a cabinet decision made last August, children of foreign workers who did not meet a series of criteria would face deportation.

These criteria stipulate that the child studied during the past school year in an Israeli state school, is enrolled for the next year in first grade or higher, has lived for five consecutive years in Israel, was born in Israel or arrived before age 13.

The child’s parents must also have entered Israel on a valid work visa, and the child must speak Hebrew.

Around 400 of the estimated 1,200 children of foreign workers in Israel do not meet the criteria to stay in the country.

This March, Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) announced that the government will delay the deportation of children enrolled in state-run kindergartens and day schools. The Population, Immigration and Borders Authority said that the decision did not apply to children who did not meet those criteria.



According to PIBA spokesman Sabine Haddad, the decision to arrest the girl and her mother is not new, in spite of media reports that it was an unprecedented move.

“So far there have been dozens of children who were born in Israel that have been deported under the state criteria.

The child in question was not in a state-run compulsory kindergarten and was not even in a state-run preschool. Not only is she not a borderline case, she is far from being on the borderline of meeting the state criteria to stay.”

Haddad added that the PIBA has not deported anyone who is enrolled in state-run kindergarten because they are too “borderline” to the state’s own criteria, but that they would continue to carry out the cabinet decision.

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