Deportation down 60% in 2005

The percentage of foreign workers deported from Israel dropped dramatically in 2005, a change immigration authorities attribute mainly to disengagement. Some 22,796 foreign workers were checked by immigration police throughout Israel this past year, of which 8,494 were sent to jail, according to the Interior Ministry. But only 6,526 ended up being deported, with 936 illegal workers allowed to stay because other employers were found for them. In 2004, out of 21,531 workers given deportation orders, 18,669 were deported - nearly 60 percent more than in 2005 - with 1,615 workers placed with other employers. The Interior Ministry's division for foreign workers said that since all security forces had been attending to the disengagement from Gaza this summer, they had not been able to spend as much time tracking down illegal foreign workers.