Daily Israel Report

Leftists Oppose New Immigrant Law

Government's latest proposal for law against illegal entrants 'worse than the one the High Court struck down.'
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/17/2013, 5:32 PM

Illegal African immigrants
Illegal African immigrants
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Left-wing organizations attacked the new bill to curb illegal immigration presented Sunday before the government as soon as it was proposed.

The Hotline for Assistance to Foreign Workers, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Asaf, the Organization for Assisting Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, accused the government of “misleading the public when it causes it to believe that the continued imprisonment of a thousand asylum seekers, whom the court has already ordered to be freed, will provide a solution for the suffering of the residents of southern Tel Aviv.”

The organizations claim that the proposal brought before the government “includes an arrangement worse than the one that the High Court struck down.”

"It means the continued imprisonment of asylum seekers without trial, when the only way they can go free is to return to the country where they are in danger – not because they broke the law, but in order to deter others.”

Leftists also oppose the solution of “open residence facilties,” and claim that these are, in effect, “isolated detention camps in the middle of the desert, run by the Prisons Service, which include three daily head counts, and severe punishment for disobeying the regulations.”

The Cabinet voted Sunday in favor of a new law that would allow police to jail illegal migrants for up to 12 months in special detention facilities. 

The new law follows the cancellation of a previous law that allowed illegal migrants to be held for up to three years. That law was overturned by the High Court as unconstitutional.