Roi, a citizen of Colombia, arrived in Israel in 2006 along with other family members. The family received protection as asylum seekers who came to Israel to escape a dangerous situation that arose as their relatives who were members of crime organizations in the country.
Two years after arriving in Israel, Roi met an Israeli woman. The two cohabited and had a son together.
According to Roi and his former girlfriend, during the birth of their son, the hospital refused to register Roi as the father because he did not have Israeli citizenship. Thus, Roi is not listed as the child's father at the Interior Ministry.
The couple separated in 2012, but Roi has reportedly remained an active father.
In 2013, the Interior Ministry denied Roi's request for asylum, along with the requests of his twin brother and his mother. The family reportedly did not know that they had the option to appeal the decision.
Scared to return to Colombia, the family began living without legal status, under the radar of the authorities, in constant fear that they would get caught.
About a week and a half ago their fear was realized. Immigration police knocked on the door of their Ramat Gan home in the middle of the night and arrested the family members. Roi was taken to a facility at Ben-Gurion Airport and now faces deportation – his family has been unable to contact him.
After his arrest, Roi's lawyer Moran Gur filed a request for a paternity test to be conducted in order to prove that he is his son's biological father, in which case it would not be legal to separate them.
However, the Internal Ministry says it will not wait for the results of the test to arrive.
Roi's lawyer said: "About a week and a half ago there was a court hearing for illegal residents at the Givon prison during which I explained the circumstances of the case.
"Roi has an Israeli child, and (the child's) mother also wants him to stay in the country in order not to harm the boy. The best interests of the child must be considered," said Roi's lawyer.
The lawyer also said that Roi paid as maintenace for the child as required, and raised him along with his mother.
"We announced we would file a paternity suit, but due to a search for documents the request was only filed this morning. But the Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration is not willing to wait for the results of the paternity test," Roi's lawyer said Wednesday.
Furthermore, Roi's lawyer claims that he and his family were illegally arrested as they were not given restraining orders. She further said that when the family was given their restraining orders, they were given a retroactive date.
"This is illegal incarceration. His only crime is that he did not take care of his documents in time. It is not a reason to separate a child from his father," his lawyer argued.
Since being transferred to Ben-Gurion Airport, all attempts to reach Roi have failed. His current girlfriend, an IDF officer who serves on the Gaza border, joined in on the fight to keep him in Israel.
"Today he is entitled to arrange his status in Israel on two tracks – as a father of an Israeli child and as the partner of an IDF officer. The Interior Ministry must take this into account," Roi's lawyer argued. "The Interior Ministry ignores are applications and delays arranging his status so that they can deport him."
Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration said that this is the case of a mother and her two sons who came to Israel as tourists eight years ago.
"At first they stayed under temporary protection by the UN and their request was examined and dismissed in 2012 - they should have left Israel then.
"The detainee admitted that he knows he was illegally living and working (in Israel). During his entire time in Israel he did not arrange his status in any way. The fact that he wants to arrange his paternity today, after he was arrested, when he is a candidate for expulsion, raises questions of its own, since the child is four years old and it is strange that no actionto prove his paternity was taken until today."
The administration also said that a delay has been issued for Roi's deportation until a court hearing that will take place on Sunday.
"We will wait for the decision of the court before proceeding," said the administration.