The government has approved for the first time in Israel’s history Sunday an agreement that grants legal residency status to children of foreign workers and their immediate family, thus paving the way for foreign workers to obtain Israeli citizenship within a number of years.
However, many other foreign workers and their children are facing expulsion.
According to the government's decision, legal status will be given to children who were born in Israel, are between the ages of 10 and 18 and are students or graduates of the Israeli education system.
Their number is estimated at some 1,500.
According to the agreement, other people who are residing in the country illegally will be eligible for legal status, mainly the immediate family members of new immigrants who themselves are not eligible for new immigrant status but have come to the country to join their families.
Also included in the new arrangement are spouses of Israelis who had arrived in the country from neighboring countries, namely Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
These people are numbered at tens of thousands, although an additional government procedure is needed before the decision regarding their status is finalized.
While the decision marks a revolution in the country’s immigration policy and is expected to offer a solution to hundreds of children and youths whose expulsion from the country would constitute a “cultural exile,” there are just as many, and perhaps even more, children of foreign workers that do not meet the criteria determined by the government and are therefore not expected to gain legal status.
It seems their expulsion from Israel is inevitable, despite the fact that the government has refrained from extraditing children for a long time.