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Filipino Children Face Deportation from Israel
Some 400 children, including an undetermined number of Filipinos, may be deported from Israel along with their parents for failing to meet the qualifications set by the Israeli government for them to legally stay in the country.
The Israeli government issued the guidelines as part of its crackdown on undocumented migrants that started last year.
A statement in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) website said the six guidelines are:
The child must have been enrolled in the Israeli school system in the past year;
Said child must be enlisted for the next school year in the first grade or higher;
Said child must have lived at least five years in Israel;
If born in another country, the child must have entered Israel before the age of 13;
The child must be a Hebrew speaker; and,
The parents of the child entered Israel using a valid visa.
Read related story: Israel’s ‘Illegal’ Children
Of the estimated 1,200 undocumented children, the Israeli government said about 800 would “most likely” qualify while the remaining 400 might not meet the criteria.
A Filipino migrants’ group earlier denounced the Israeli government’s crackdown on illegal migrants, which reportedly started as early as July 2009.
According to the DFA statement, the Philippine Embassy in Israel is anticipating that many Filipino children would be eligible under the newly issued guidelines as long as they would submit all necessary documents to support their application.
Read related story: Israel-born Kids of Pinoy Migrant Workers May Be Deported
The Israeli government has given applicants 21 days to file their applications at the Ministry of Interior, the statement said.
The Embassy meanwhile said it will assist qualified applicants and assured those who may not qualify that their rights will be respected by the Israeli government while their deportation is being processed.
“For its part, the Embassy is ready to facilitate the issuance of necessary legal documents to all applicants. In anticipation of the possible surge in the number of applicants during the 21-day period, the Embassy has set up a task force in the Consular section specifically to address the needs of these children,” the DFA said.
“On the 400 applicants whose applications might be denied and while the exact number of Filipino children is not yet known, the Embassy reported that the Israeli government has emphasized that these disqualified applicants will be departing Israel with dignity and will be treated humanely,” it added.
Migrante-Middle East said in an earlier report that the Israeli government ceased implementing its 2006 policy of awarding Israeli citizenship to undocumented migrants, with only about 400 to 500 children and their families given recognition.
The new ruling on undocumented migrants will cover children of migrant workers of Chinese, Filipino and Thai descent, the DFA said, citing news reports.
Based on previous deportation cases, individuals are allowed to pack their belongings and leave quietly, and the Israeli government will shoulder their plane fare.
Deportees may also appeal the ruling before the courts, the DFA added.
Source: GMA News