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Photo: Motti Kimchi
demonstration against deportation
Photo: Motti Kimchi
Ben-Dror Yemini
Place of birth should not guarantee citizenship
Opinion: Refugees and migrants all over the world are being sent back home by Western countries enforcing their laws, but somehow deportation from Israel is portrayed as an atrocity akin to those perpetrated by the Nazis

The mother, Javaher Rezai, arrived as a refugee. Her two children - a 5-year old and a baby - had never been to her homeland. And yet last May they received notice that they will be returned to the country of her origin even though she herself was granted temporary permission to stay until she completes her studies.

 

 

The kids will return to Afghanistan, one of the most dangerous countries in the world. They are to be deported from Sweden.

 

A protest in Tel Aviv against the deportation of foreign workers' children born in Israel (Photo: Rony Pearl)
A protest in Tel Aviv against the deportation of foreign workers' children born in Israel (Photo: Rony Pearl)

 

In August 2011, a public debate raged in Israel over the question of deportation, like the one taking place now.

 

The prime minister's wife Sara Netanyahu met at the time with little Ofek who was born to an illegal alien and announced in front of cameras, that "It is hard to tear a child from her natural environment."

 

Sara Netanyahu with little girls who may be deported (Photo: GPO)
Sara Netanyahu with little girls who may be deported (Photo: GPO)

 

She even appealed to then-interior minister Eli Yishai (Shas) saying "there is a high probability that deportation will lead to serious psychological trauma."  

 

Her predecessor, the wife of former prime minister Ehud Olmert, Aliza, supported the same fight.

 

Perhaps the position requires it.

 

The current battle against deportation once again raises the question: "Does being born in a certain country grant the child or their family rights to citizenship or to residence?

 

Advocates for migrants claim no democracy deports native children.

 

But a closer look shows out of 194 countries only 30 grant immediate citizenship according to birthright (jus soli), only 15.4% of nations.

 

All the rest rely on parents, their religion, ethnicity or nationality (jus sanguinis).

 

 

 

A protest in Tel Aviv against the deportation of foreign workers' children born in Israel (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
A protest in Tel Aviv against the deportation of foreign workers' children born in Israel (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

 

The last country in Europe to consider birthright was Ireland and that was reversed in 2005.

 

Of the democratic countries in the world, only the United States and Canada still see birthright as a case for citizenship.

 

So there is no international principle that requires countries to grant automatic rights to any infiltrator, illegal alien or asylum seeker that is able to bring a child into the world.

 

There is no principle of an "anchor baby" to which families can be attached, and in fact that is an ongoing discussion in the United States.

 

Former President Barak Obama in his first six years in office deported two million people, regardless of whether their families had American-born members.

 

In Denmark there is even more strict enforcement. Christina Maramba was deported to the Philippines with her Danish-born baby, who has a Danish father, because the law there says he must own his own home before he is allowed to claim family reunification.

 

A protest in Herzliya against the deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
A protest in Herzliya against the deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers

 

But in Israel, people do not feel they need to take a breath or count to 10 before declaring that a legal act is an expression of inhumanity or for activists to enlist Holocaust survivors to demand the lessons of the Jews be learned.

 

This is an abasement of the Holocaust. No one should compare a legal act that is acceptable from Sweden to the United States and turn it into a Nazi-esque atrocity. These people will be deported to the Philippines -  their home - and not sent to the ovens or gas chambers.

 

Each deportation case must be weighed on its merits. Humanity and flexibility should be employed, and deportees must not be sent to countries where they will be in physical danger.

 

But there is no need to give weight to the absurd notion that where a woman gives birth somehow exempts her from the laws of that land and entitles her to remain here.

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.09.19, 23:33
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