The Ministry of the Interior has given residency status to over 200 children of illegal entrants to Israel – and to their parents as well.
A statement from the ministry explained that most of the children in question were born in Israel, and that all are currently learning in the Israeli school system.
Minister of the Interior Gidon Saar reportedly stated that he believes the children should not be punished for their parents’ wrongdoing in entering the country illegally.
The decision to grant parents of young children permanent resident status is in fact the result of a 2010 government decision, passed during the term of former Minister of Interior Eli Yishai. The 2010 decision called to grant legal status to children who were brought to Israel legally by parents who remained in the country illegally, or born in Israel to parents who entered the country illegally, if they speak Hebrew and are students in the Israeli school system.
While Yishai approved the decision, he warned that granting legal status to children could encourage illegal entrants to use their children as “human shields” against deportation.
The 2010 decision resulted in roughly two-thirds of the children of illegal entrants to Israel gaining legal status. However, several hundred children were found to not be eligible for residency status, and some have since been deported along with their parents.