Hundreds of foreign children to be arrested within days

Immigration Authority says it will begin deporting children who aren't in school; Bnei Brak says it will keep foreign children out of schools.

March 10, 2011 09:20
1 minute read.
Foreign workers' children protest

Foreign workers children 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)


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The Interior Ministry's Oz enforcement unit in the coming days will begin to arrest children of foreign workers who are not enrolled in schools, the Immigration Authority announced on Thursday, according to Army Radio.

Also on Monday, the city of Bnei Brak announced it will deny foreign children the ability to enroll in the city's schools beginning at the start of the next school year.

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Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) announced Wednesday that the government will delay for a number of months the deportation of some 400 children of illegal workers who are currently in school.

Yishai added, however that the delay will not apply to the approximately 800 children slated for deportation who definitely do not meet the government’s criteria for remaining.

“After finishing all the necessary preparations, and paying sensitive attention to the public, I have delayed enforcing the deportation orders for those families with children studying in educational institutions in Israel,” Yishai said, in a statement released by his ministry on Wednesday.

Yishai added that “at this stage, we will begin with the children of families about whom there is no disagreement as to their noncompliance with government-agreed conditions." The Population and Immigration Authority announced that, “We face one of the most sensitive and complex missions we have yet had to carry out. We have adequately prepared ourselves to implement the government’s decision as stipulated.”

Sigal Rozen, public policy coordinator for the Hotline for Migrant Workers said Wednesday that “we are very pleased that the Interior Ministry is allowing these school children to continue sleeping safely in their houses without having to be afraid that they will be arrested during the night. We hope he will change the decision to deport the children altogether.”

Following news of the delay, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) said “my position has always been that we must not deport children who study in the school system. This is a humane stance, but also a forward- thinking approach that is in keeping with our national interests.”

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