Peres: Let foreign workers' kids stay

President speaks out against Interior Ministry's deportation plan.

Peres speaking  311 AP (photo credit: Associated Press)
Peres speaking 311 AP
(photo credit: Associated Press)
President Shimon Peres has added his voice to those which have been raised against the decision to deport some 400 Hebrew-speaking, Israel-educated children of foreign workers.
In an address at Kfar Hamaccabiah to the opening session of LEAD, a leadership development program which has been operating in Israel since 1999, Peres said that it was inconceivable that 400 Hebrew-speaking children born in Israel, and living as Israelis, would be deported from Israel.
To deport these children would do great damage to Israel and terrible harm to the families concerned, he said.
Peres clarified that while he is favor of formulating a serious and comprehensive migration policy, he is opposed to draconian measures that involve expelling 400 children.
Peres was adamant that the children must remain in Israel.
Various organizations and activists who are working on behalf of the children were gratified to have the President on their side, but were also aware that there was no reason to be euphoric about his statement because laws related to the presidency do not give him the authority to overturn a government decision.
If the government, in the final analysis decides to go ahead with the deportations, Peres can join in the general protest, but he can do very little if anything to stop the process.