Court frees Filipino family until deportation

Following petition, court order allows foreign workers, 6-yr-old daughter to remain out of custody until deportation on July 23rd.

July 2, 2012 19:48
2 minute read.
six-and-a-half year old AJ to be deported

AJ 370. (photo credit: courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A family of Filipino foreign workers will be deported from Israel on July 23 and will be released from detention until the day of their deportation, the Petah Tikva District Court ruled on Monday.

The court’s decision follows a campaign on behalf of protesters who petitioned the court following the arrest of six-year-old AJ and her parents on Sunday morning, the first day of her summer break. The petition, submitted by the NGO Israeli Children, called on immigration authorities to set the family free from the detention facility at Ben- Gurion Airport, and to allow them time to prepare for deportation. AJ had already been released Sunday night following an appeal to the court, but Sunday’s court decision means both of her parents will be set free until their deportation date.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

In the court protocol, Judge Avraham Yaakov said that AJ, who studied at Bialik-Rogozin school in south Tel Aviv, “has known her entire life only in Israel; she speaks Hebrew, she has friends and family here, and while I agree that the interior minister has the authority to deport illegal residents from Israel, it must be done in a fitting manner.”

The petitioners did not appeal the deportation itself, which fits the criteria that the government approved in August 2010. The petitioners merely appealed the holding of the family in detention until their deportation, an appeal that the court said also met the approval of the Interior Ministry.

The criteria include that the children’s parents entered Israel legally, they have been in Israel for over five years and are enrolled in the Israeli school system, among others. AJ, whose parents’ work visas expired in 2004, did not fit the criteria at the time the decision was made, and has since faced the threat of deportation. According to immigration officials, the family never submitted an appeal to request legal status in Israel after their permits expired.

Under the criteria passed in August 2010, around 1,200 children were made subject to deportation, while parents of another 701 children submitted residency claims.

One of the petitioners, Tami Gordon of Israeli Children, is quoted in the protocol as saying how AJ’s parents “lost their work permits, fell in love, brought children into the world, and don’t need to be blamed for this. I am asking that you give her this vacation, the last in her life, because in the Philippines she won’t have this sort of school break, and the Interior Ministry can understand this.”


Rotem Ilan, also of Israeli Children, said “we are happy that the courts also understand that a child’s place is not in prison,” and criticized the state for “bringing so many foreign workers to Israel and choosing to look at them as just objects and not human beings.”

On Sunday night, dozens of protesters held signs and chanted outside Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s house in Tel Aviv, asking him to intervene on behalf of AJ.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night