Egyptian border: Free pass?
Photo: Roi Idan
Some 5,528 illegal migrants infiltrated Israel through the southern border in the first three months of 2012, compared with only 1,742 illegal migrants who infiltrated Israel during the same period last year, data released by the Population and Immigration Authority revealed on Tuesday.
Over the months of January and February 2012, some 2,406 Eritreans and 848 Sudanis and 220 migrants from other countries came into the country illegally through the Egyptian border. At the same time 601 people were deported from Israel (some of which were foreign workers and not infiltrators), and 24 have had their status regularized.
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In 2011 the majority of infiltrators arrived from Sudan and Eritrea, countries which by international law, Israel cannot deport people back to. Yet the most recent government decision on the matter determined that as southern Sudan has already gained independence, it is possible to deport illegal migrants from that country.
Even so, the Jerusalem District Court has accepted petitions filed on the subject and postponed the deportation to April 15. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry is seeking to delay the deportation due to new information it received on the situation in Southern Sudan.
According to Immigration Authority data, there are currently 75,000 legal foreign workers in Israel today, most of whom are employed in the nursing sector (42,653) and construction (5,221). An additional 2,225 foreign workers are employed legally as specialists in their field.
The Immigration Authority estimates that 13,885 illegal migrants are currently residing in Israel, with the majority employed in the nursing sector and 2,000 in the construction sector.
In 2011 some 34,350 illegal migrants left Israel willingly.
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