Israel Begins Deportation of Filipino Workers, Children

Israel begins crackdown on foreign workers and their children. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

Israel has begun rounding up scores of Filipino workers and their Israel-born children for deportation, prompting large-scale protests outside the prime minister’s residence and at the country’s Ben Gurion Airport.

After Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority last month handed scores of Filipino workers and their children deportation papers, requiring them to leave the country within weeks, Israeli authorities have now begun rounding up families and transporting them to detention centers.

Israel grants visas to a quota of foreign workers every year, many of whom are women from the Philippines who work as caregivers. Israeli law states that a migrant worker is entitled to remain in the country with her baby until her visa expires, but the child is not granted Israeli citizenship.

Though Israel claims that those being rounded up “are foreign nationals who’ve been [in Israel] illegally for a long time, without any legal status,” according to a Haaretz report last month the women’s visas “were not renewed because they gave birth [in Israel]”.

Filipinos are not the only minority community in Israel targeted by such deportation practices. Israel also hosts a number of asylum seekers, many of whom originate from war-torn Eritrea and Sudan and, like the Filipino community, largely live in south Tel Aviv and central Israel.

Israel has repeatedly tried to rid itself of these communities, with Israel Hayom in October 2017 revealing that Netanyahu had signed a deal with a “third country” that would allow their forcible deportation.

In January 2018, Israel issued a notice for thousands of African asylum seekers to leave the country or face imprisonment. By March, under huge pressure from the international community and the UN’s refugee agencies, Israel’s Supreme Court canceled the deportation scheme. Many of those asylum seekers it had planned to deport remained in Israeli prisons throughout the spring, some of whom were finally released in April of that year.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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