Children of foreign workers will be allowed to stay in Israel, but on certain conditions. The inter-ministerial committee that deliberated over the status of foreign workers' children in Israel, of which there are about 1,200, ruled that the children who meet five criteria will be allowed to remain in Israel together with their parents.
The cabinet will be asked to authorize the criteria during Sunday's cabinet meeting.
The prominent criteria are as follows: The child studied during the past year in Israel's state school system, is enlisted for the upcoming school year in the first grade or higher, has lived for five consecutive years or more in Israel, and, if he was not born here, arrived before the age of 13. In addition, the child must be a Hebrew speaker, and his parents must have entered Israel on a valid visa.
The committee's recommendations were justified by the need "to find a fair balance between the State of Israel's right to choose who enters its gates and who remains within its territory and the need to provide a one-off humanitarian response to set group of children illegally in Israel and their families."
A number of times throughout the document, the fact that the criteria refer to a one-time decision only to be applied to the current group of children in Israel.
30 days to leave
According to the recommendations, the interior minister will be authorized to grant a residency permit to the child's parents and siblings if they live in the same household. The permit will be extended each year until the child reaches the age of 21.
It was made clear, however, that such a permit will not serve as a basis for additional family members to enter Israel.
The committee also ruled that whoever does not meet the criteria will have 30 days to leave the country from the day the decision is published. After this time period, "enforcement measures will be taken, including placing in custody, and expulsion from Israel."
The committee also recommended that the government setup a database of those in Israel illegally and to prepare an orderly work plan for the enforcement of the rules laid out.
The Prime Minister's Office reported that it will formulate a stance on the matter only after a discussion of the issue in the cabinet meeting on Sunday.
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