Four-year-old Filipina girl and her mother to be deported

Ruling to nix petition of mother and child a "badge of shame for Israel," says Association of Civil Rights in Israel.

SARA NETANYAHU meets with four-year-old Ofek Castillo311 (photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)
SARA NETANYAHU meets with four-year-old Ofek Castillo311
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)
The Central District Court ruled in a closed-door hearing on Thursday to deport an Israeli-born four-year-old daughter of a Filipino foreign worker. The child’s father, also Filipino, is residing legally in Israel.
The mother, who had been living illegally in Israel for four years with her Israeli-born daughter, had petitioned against the deportation.
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The petition asked that the mother and daughter be allowed to remain in Israel another month, and then leave voluntarily rather than being forcibly deported.
Sara Netanyahu also got involved in the case, and sent a letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai asking that he stop the child’s deportation.
Last week, the District Court issued a temporary stay of the deportation orders against them, pending the petition.
Attorney Oded Feller, representing the child and her mother, told the court that while in general illegal residents should be deported, in the case of children the state should put the child’s best interests first.
The child and her father are very close, Feller noted, and should have been given time to prepare for their separation.
“Israel is the only country where the process of removing a child and her mother from the country happens within 24 hours without parental involvement,” Feller said.
However, Judge Avraham Ya’acov said that there were no special circumstances that would have merited delaying the deportation of Nancy and her daughter.
Following the judgment, the legal adviser to the Population Authority, Daniel Solomon, said that the petition had just been a “nuisance suit” whose only outcome was that the mother had to spend over a week in custody apart from her daughter.
However, Noa Galili, spokeswoman of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), who filed the petition along with NGO Israeli Children, slammed the ruling, dubbing the child’s deportation as a “badge of shame for Israel.”
“It’s a disgrace that the Interior Ministry held the hearing behind closed doors contrary to the judge’s instructions,” Galili said. “It’s crazy that at the same time Yishai is bringing thousands of new workers, he is deporting 400 children as a solution to the migration problem.”
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.