Statement on illegal workers in Israel
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 Statement on illegal workers in Israel


Within three months a policy will be formulated for dealing with the children of those illegally in Israel and their parents.

President Shimon Peres meets with children of foreign workers in Tel Aviv, Jan 2009 (Photo: Yosef Avi Yair Angel)

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Thursday), 30 July 2009, met with Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz. It was decided that the Government's policy of removing persons illegally in the country from within Israel's borders and encouraging them to leave voluntarily would continue. Interior Minister Yishai proposed that temporary permits to be in the country be given to children of those illegally in Israel and to their parents for a limited three-month period.

It was decided that within these three months a policy would be formulated for dealing with the children of those illegally in Israel and their parents. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Interior Minister Yishai agreed that the latter would convene discussions on the issue within the Ministerial Committee on the Employment of Foreign Workers, which he chairs, with the participation of professional elements.

The unceasing stream of illegals into Israel in recent years has led to a situation in which the proportion of foreign workers in Israel is among the highest in the world, relative to the local population and the number of employed persons. This fact increases unemployment among Israelis and significantly changes Israel's internal demographic balance.

Therefore, Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed Finance Minister Steinitz and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to formulate within a short time draft legislation to increase enforcement and punitive measures vis-a-vis Israelis who employ illegals; this legislation will be submitted to the Knesset during its upcoming winter session. At the same time, the Cabinet will discuss the growing phenomenon of illegal infiltrators on the southern border and ways to increase border control."

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