Shaked Blasts 'Weak' New Infiltrator Law

Short detainment period 'detracts from the deterrent effect' of the law, MK Ayelet Shaked says.

Tova Dvorin,

Ayelet Shaked
Ayelet Shaked
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) blasted amendments to the Infiltrator Law on Tuesday, telling an Interior Committee meeting that the changes render the bill ineffective at addressing Israel's illegal immigration issue. 

"First of all I would like to remind the audience why we're here," she began. "We're here because of the powerlessness of the prosecutor's office and the Legal Advisory from 2007-2012. During these years, thousands of infiltrators were let into the country, and instead of enforcing the the existing law - the Entry into Israel Law - and prosecuting illegal aliens and sentencing them to up to five years in prison, there was no proper enforcement, and the opposite: the State has given them work permits."

"If the legal system had done its job we would not be here today," she added. 

Shaked was not enthusiastic about this particular rendering of the law, however.

"This is a weak law," she stated. "I am sorry that infiltrators would be in custody for up to three months, while the European law mandates six months."

"We do not need to be more righteous than the Pope," she added. 

"Three months of imprisonment is not enough to prevent the entry of new infiltrators," she continued. "On the contrary, such a short custody period will bring down the deterrent effect. I insist on eight months of custody, along with Knesset Committee Chairman Miri Regev [Likud]."

Shaked added a request to keep the Holot detention facility open for two years after the law is implemented.

The Infiltrator law was revived this week, after key elements were shot down several months ago by the High Court for Justice.

The new version of the law, formulated by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Interior Ministry and the Justice Ministry, mandates that asylum seekers will stay in Holot for one year and eight months - eight months more than the period proposed by the original law.

New infiltrators caught in Israel illegally will be sent to the Saharonim prison for three months, as well - less than the one-year period in the original law. 

In addition, the state will try to ensure that asylum seekers leave the country in several ways. With the approval of the law, employers will be required to deposit a monthly fee for employing asylum seekers, at the expense of severance pay. In addition, each asylum seeker working in Israel will be required to deposit money from his/her own paycheck, which he/she will receive only upon leaving Israel.

Regarding the economic deposit for illegal aliens who have work permits, she said "the deposit is a very important element of this law."

"It is an excellent incentive for these infiltrators to leave the country," she noted. "Under no circumstances must we omit the deposit of this law."

In order to prevent the employment of other asylum seekers, the Knesset is currently considering other bills to increase fines for employers who hire infiltrators. Also in the works are measures to prevent hiring infiltrators by contractors, such that companies found to be guilty of code violations will be banned from hiring foreign workers for three years. 

The state will speed up the process of approving the law due to the High Court ruling, which demanded that Holot be closed within three months of the decision, i.e. by December 22


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