Immigration officers escort African migrant 370 (R).
(photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
The government is taking its battle against African migrants to the banks and
those who move funds abroad, and will bring a bill to the Knesset Monday making
it illegal for the migrants to transfer money back home.
Committee on Legislation approved a bill Sunday that will make it illegal for
migrants to transfer money abroad. Under the new law, the penalty for migrants
trying to do this will be some NIS 29,000 and six months imprisonment, and the
punishment for those assisting them by transferring the funds will be the same
fine, but a year in jail.
The bill is part of the government’s plan to
fight migration by creating steps aimed at convincing migrants that it is not
worth their while to come to Israel in the first place.
figures presented to the committee, there are 60,000 migrants in the country,
being employed by 50,000 people. Some NIS 50,000 is transferred to Africa each
month. According to the figures, there are approximately 10,000 accounts for
migrants in the country’s banks.
According to the law, those migrants
caught trying to transfer their funds will have the money impounded, and it will
be returned to them only upon leaving the country.
The new law will not
apply to certain humanitarian cases and those who have the status of political
According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s
Office, the law balances between Israel’s right to defend itself against
infiltration, and its duty to respect the human rights of everyone in the
This is the reason, the statement said, why the money earned by
the migrants will be returned to them upon leaving the country.