Ukrainian mother battles Interior Ministry to keep her children

ukranian mother 298 cour (photo credit: Courtesy photo)
ukranian mother 298 cour
(photo credit: Courtesy photo)
A Ukrainian-born, non-Jewish woman married to an Israeli is fighting against the Ministry of Interior to keep her two children, aged 12 and 13, with her and not have them deported to their homeland, where there is no one to look after them. "I'm their mother," Ella Mubrakova told The Jerusalem Post. "I gave birth to them and I am the one who must raise them." She is currently petitioning against the government decision to expel the children in Haifa District Court and is represented by Nichole Ma'or and Einat Horowitz, of the Progressive Movement's Israel Religious Action Center. Mubrakova said her former husband, the father of the children, is an alcoholic and had signed a release stating that they could move to Israel permanently. However, an interministerial committee established to deal with humanitarian cases in matters of non-Jewish immigration rejected Mubrakova's request after making her wait seven months for its answer. Mubrakova married in 1990 and gave birth to the children during the following two years. She divorced in 1999 and moved with them into her mother's home, because she did not have enough money to maintain her own home. The following year, Mubrakova left her children with her mother and came to Israel to find work. According to the petition, she began setting aside money to buy a home in the Ukraine. In the meantime, however, she met her current husband, Avi Mubrakov. The two went to the Ukraine in March 2002 and married the following month. In July, Mubrakova gave birth to Avi's child. The couple applied for entry visas for the entire family. The embassy rejected the request for Mubrakova's Ukrainianborn children and she returned to Israel with her husband and baby. After receiving temporary residency status, she immediately applied to bring her other two children to Israel. Interior Ministry authorities informed her that since her exhusband had signed a paper only releasing the children for a month, the children would have to return to the Ukraine at the end of the month. Mubrakova says she signed a paper agreeing to the condition because she knew she could obtain a full release from her ex-husband when she flew to the Ukraine to bring them home with her. Mubrakova wrote her consent consistent with the Interior Ministry's conditions in the Ukraine on the understanding that once she got the release, her children could stay with her. She claims that Israeli officials mistranslated her agreement. For example, where she had promised to return the children to the Ukraine, the officials wrote that she had promised to return them to her husband, though he had not looked after them and was incapable of doing so. Mubrakova returned with the release, but the authorities insisted that she send the children home. Meanwhile, her husband submitted an application to adopt the children to make sure they would be able to stay here. But according to Mubrakova, the Interior Ministry blocked the adoption proceedings.
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