Israeli bill to ease expulsion of illegal migrants

Illegal infiltrators will not be recognized as refugees if the state of war in their countries has ended, a newly submitted bill states. 

By Jack Gold, World Israel News 

MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) has submitted a bill that would give the Minister of Interior the authority to expel illegal infiltrators who have not been recognized as refugees, Israel Hayom reported Tuesday.

According to the proposal, when a person residing in Israel submits an application for refugee status due to a state of war in his or her country or origin, but the state of war has actually ended under bilateral agreements between the warring states, the request can be denied. In such a case, the minister of the interior, after consulting with the foreign affairs minister, may order that the applicant be deported.

“We have recently been informed that Eritrea and Ethiopia have signed a peace agreement that will end the war between them, and this situation may enable the minister of the interior, responsible for immigration policy in our country, to return the asylum-seekers back to their countries,” the explanatory notes to the bill state.

According to data from Israel’s Immigration Authority, there are currently 35,000 illegal migrants who arrived in Israel via the Egyptian border. Most of the infiltrators-  72 percent – hail from Eritrea; 7,250 are from Sudan, 2,400 from African countries, and 470 from elsewhere.

The crush of migrants was eventually thwarted by the construction of a 152-mile-long security fence covering all of the Israeli-Egyptian border.

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After the barrier was completed, Israel enjoyed a huge reduction in illegal crossings. No infiltration was reported last year.

As of July, 1,115 migrants from Eritrea left Israel voluntarily in 2018.

Haskel said the bill is “the key to solving the problem of the infiltrators. Israel cannot contend with tens of thousands of illegal work migrants, and their illegal presence is a precedent and will serve as an example for the arrival of additional infiltrators.”

“The peace agreement signed in Eritrea paved the way for the return of tens of thousands of infiltrators to their country, where their lives are no longer in danger,” she added.

Israel on Tuesday announced it will not join the United Nations’ (UN) Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

“We are committed to guarding our borders against illegal migrants. This is what we have done and this is what we will continue to do,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated.