Statistics show dramatic drop in illegal migration to Israel

Only 36 African migrants were caught crossing into Israel in 2013, in contrast to 2012 when 10,440 entered illegally.

November 5, 2013 20:12
1 minute read.
African migrants transport vegetables in south Tel Aviv

African migrants transport vegetables in south Tel Aviv 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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There are currently 53,636 African migrants in Israel and only 36 were caught crossing into the country in 2013, according to Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority statistics on foreigners in Israel published on Tuesday.

The numbers are a sharp contrast to 2012, when, before the Egypt border fence was built, 10,440 African migrants entered Israel illegally, according to PIBA figures from the beginning of 2013. In addition to the 36, a further 59 illegal migrants were caught by immigration officials elsewhere inside Israel, after having crossed the border undetected.

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In a report issued back in April, the figure stood at 54,721, which would appear to indicate that 1,085 have either willingly left Israel or been reported over the past six months or so. In figures from late June 2012, the number stood at 57,193, a difference of 3,557. That number is higher than official estimates that have been given by government officials, which have varied from 1,000 to 2,000.

The 53,336 figure for October 2013 includes 35,987 migrants from Eritrea (67 percent), 13,249 from Sudan (25 percent), and 4,400 from other countries.

The figures also state that there are 69,449 legal foreign workers in Israel, as well as 14,847 illegal foreign workers, and 93,000 tourists on overstayed visas.

In terms of foreign workers, the figures state that of the 69,449, there are 40,240 who work in caretaking and of the 14,487 illegal foreign workers, the majority, some 11,699, work in caretaking.

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