C'tee okays bill to stop migrant money transfers

The bill is part of the government's plan to fight migration; migrants caught transferring funds will have their money impounded.

Immigration officers escort African migrant 370 (R) (photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
Immigration officers escort African migrant 370 (R)
(photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
The government is taking its battle against African migrants to the banks and those who move funds abroad, and will bring a bill to the Knesset Monday making it illegal for the migrants to transfer money back home.
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill Sunday that will make it illegal for migrants to transfer money abroad. Under the new law, the penalty for migrants trying to do this will be some NIS 29,000 and six months imprisonment, and the punishment for those assisting them by transferring the funds will be the same fine, but a year in jail.
The bill is part of the government’s plan to fight migration by creating steps aimed at convincing migrants that it is not worth their while to come to Israel in the first place.
According to figures presented to the committee, there are 60,000 migrants in the country, being employed by 50,000 people. Some NIS 50,000 is transferred to Africa each month. According to the figures, there are approximately 10,000 accounts for migrants in the country’s banks.
According to the law, those migrants caught trying to transfer their funds will have the money impounded, and it will be returned to them only upon leaving the country.
The new law will not apply to certain humanitarian cases and those who have the status of political refugees.
According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office, the law balances between Israel’s right to defend itself against infiltration, and its duty to respect the human rights of everyone in the country.
This is the reason, the statement said, why the money earned by the migrants will be returned to them upon leaving the country.