Yishai delays deportation of migrant schoolchildren

Efforts to deport families who don’t meet government criteria is due to begin soon.

Eli Yishai 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Eli Yishai 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) announced Wednesday that the government will delay for a number of months the deportation of some 400 children of illegal workers who are currently in school.
Yishai added, however that the delay will not apply to the around 800 children slated for deportation who definitely do not meet the government’s criteria for remaining.
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“After finishing all the necessary preparations, and paying sensitive attention to the public, I have delayed enforcing the deportation orders for those families with children studying in educational institutions in Israel,” Yishai said, in a statement released by his ministry on Wednesday.
Yishai added that “at this stage, we will begin with the children of families about whom there is no disagreement as to their noncompliance with government-agreed conditions." The Population and Immigration Authority announced that, “We face one of the most sensitive and complex missions we have yet had to carry out. We have adequately prepared ourselves to implement the government’s decision as stipulated.”
Sigal Rozen, public policy coordinator for the Hotline for Migrant Workers said Wednesday that “we are very pleased that the Interior Ministry is allowing these school children to continue sleeping safely in their houses without having to be afraid that they will be arrested during the night. We hope he will change the decision to deport the children altogether.”
Following news of the delay, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) said “my position has always been that we must not deport children who study in the school system. This is a humane stance, but also a forward- thinking approach that is in keeping with our national interests.”