The government on Sunday is set to discuss a plan to deport thousands of illegal African immigrants who have been arrested in recent months. The plan, which will cost NIS 630 million, will include construction of a detainment camp in southern Israel for illegal aliens who have been arrested and are awaiting deportation – and will include a government-funded training program that will give the illegals skills they can use in their home countries when they leave Israel.
According to a report on Army Radio, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked the Shabak, Mossad, and IDF to come up with “creative suggestions” for dealing with the illegals. The Foreign Ministry suggested expanding a training program that other illegals have participated in, and giving each refugee $500. The new program will train refugees for work as truck drivers. A Foreign Ministry official said that the skills would be very useful for refugees heading back to Southern Sudan, which is now an independent country and needs professional drivers.
The Ministry has trained hundreds of illegals in similar programs – with one course giving them agricultural skills, and another teaching them skills for use in small business. The success of those programs has prompted the government to seek to expand them to thousands more illegals.
In an interview Thursday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said he was determined to send illegal Africans back home, “even if it is unpopular to do so. We cannot be overly liberal in this matter. I realize they are returning to the third world, but Israel cannot take them all in,” Yishai said.