|Oscar Stars Can Stay in Israel – For Now|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
A migrant child piggy-backs on Sigal Rozen, Public Policy Coordinator for NIF grantee Hotline for Migrant Workers.
The stars of the film "Strangers No More," which won an Oscar last month for the best Short Documentary, can stay in Israel for now. Interior Minister Eli Yishai has ruled that the deportation of some 200 migrant children who are already in school, and whose parents are working in Israel without permits will be delayed until the summer.
However, expulsion of an additional 200 children of migrant workers has already begun. Under the concession made by Yishai following the public outcry, children who are attending Israeli schools are allowed a temporary stay. (We asked you to contact Minister Yishai in an urgent Action Alert last week.) However, in many cases, the children cannot find schools to attend. Some municipalities have a policy of refusing places in educational institutions for those without Israeli citizenship. A Nigerian migrant family and their six month old baby who was born in Israel were deported last weekend.
Sigal Rozen, Public Policy Coordinator for NIF grantee Hotline for Migrant Workers, which spearheads the campaign against the expulsion of migrant workers, said, "We are very pleased that the Interior Ministry is allowing these schoolchildren to continue sleeping safely in their houses without having to be afraid that they will be arrested during the night. We hope he will change the decision to deport the children altogether."
Last week hundreds of social change activists and migrant workers demonstrated against the deportations in Tel Aviv’s Meir Park. The rally, which was supported by many members of the NIF family including Hotline for Migrant Workers, Kav LaOved: Workers' Hotline, Physicians for Human Rights, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and Israel Religious Action Center of the Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel (Reform), kicked off a major media campaign to educate the Israeli public about the issue.
Last year, following a similar campaign by the NIF family, 400 children of migrant workers who have spent at least five years in Israel were granted Israeli residency rights.
There is still time to take action! Learn more about the issue and send Minister Yishai an e-mail on behalf of the children of migrant workers here.