Gathering at Levinsky Park
Photo: Yaron Brener

Foreign workers prepare for deportation

Workers gather in Tel Aviv park to listen to list of criteria determined by government Sunday, which will lead to deportation of 400 kids. 'I don't know what we will do tomorrow,' says Philippine mother. 'I want to stay here'

Just a few hours after the government decided to deport 400 children of foreign workers Sunday, hundreds of the workers and their kids gathered in Tel Aviv's Levinsky Park to hear the requirements for remaining in the country.


Around 800 children are eligible, according to the guidelines set by the government, to stay in Israel, and they and their parents clapped when the news was read.


But those who realized they would soon be deported stood on the sidelines of the gathering, holding back tears.


Eight-year old Ganela, from the Philippines, was happy to hear she could stay in the country. "I love Israel. I love my school and my friends, and I want my friends who are going to be deported to stay here," she told Ynet.


But Kam, a Philippine woman who has been in Israel for a number of years, discovered Sunday that her four-year old daughter was not eligible to stay.


"I don't know what I will do tomorrow. According to what has been said now, we won't be staying in Israel. But I want to stay here," she said.


Representatives from the various foreign workers' organizations vowed to continue battling the decree, and tried to encourage those that had received bad news.


An inter-ministerial committee that discussed the status of foreign workers' children ruled that children who meet five criteria would be allowed to remain in Israel together with their parents: 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 government decided to ease the conditions on Sunday by adding a clause stating that the interior minister would consult the inter-ministerial committee on borderline cases.


Boaz Fyler contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 08.01.10, 21:36
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