It has now been cleared for publication that Uganda will absorb tens of thousands of illegal African migrants living in Israel, following a campaign to deport illegal refugees from Eritrea and Sudan.
Uganda will either accept the migrants or serve as a transit station to their own countries, according to Haaretz.
Israel intended on deporting the migrants in the coming weeks by enforcing stricter regulations on them, in hopes of deterring migrants from seeking entry into Israel.
During a meeting with the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee on Wednesday, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced that Israel signed an agreement with an African country in which they have consented to receive African migrants who choose to leave Israel voluntarily.
“In the first stage, we will focus on raising awareness within the population of infiltrators while helping them with the logistics of their departure, including costs, airfare and dealing with the possessions they accumulated while they were in Israel,” Sa’ar said.
During the second stage, which is set to begin after the upcoming Jewish holidays, Israel will enforce a deadline by which "certain sectors within the infiltrator population" will be asked to "willingly" leave the country.
Once the deadline passes, the state will penalize those who refuse to leave by no longer routinely extending their visas and will begin enforcing laws that prohibit the employment of illegal migrants.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved of this initiative at the end of June.
Sa’ar guaranteed that the plan will see the departure of thousands of migrants over the next year. “I expect the infiltrators to leave at a rate of 2,000 to 3,000 per year,” he said. “I am certain that it will reach much greater numbers after the plan involving the third country gains momentum. I remind you that there are 55,000.”
Some 200 African migrants have returned under the voluntary repatriation procedure, journeying back to Eritrea and Sudan since the end of June.