Migrant Worker Faces Deportation After Marrying in Israel

Immigration police arrested Charlene Ramos two days after her wedding celebration, saying that marriage is grounds for revocation of legal work permit.

A migrant worker who arrived in Israel legally from the Philippines four years ago to work as a nurse is currently facing deportation over her marriage to another documented migrant worker in Israel.

Charlene Ramos married her husband, Judser Maclenda, also from the Philippines, earlier this month.

On Monday, two days after their wedding celebration, Ramos was arrested by the Oz immigration police unit in Haifa. She was told that marriage is grounds for voiding a migrant worker's permit in Israel.

Police claim that she tried to hide her wedding ring. The police called Maclenda and asked him to choose which of the couple would be deported. The couple chose Ramos.

Foreign worker
Ariel Shalit

Ramos was transported to the Givon prison for deportation.

At a court hearing, where Ramos was represented by Oded Feller from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, a judge ordered Ramos' release on NIS 5,000 bail and the condition that she purchase a plane ticket to the Philippines to be used within 30 days.

The Hotline for Migrant Workers, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Kav LaOved filed a pressing administrative appeal to the Petah Tikva District Court on Wednesday requesting that Ramos be released without condition.

The unity of a couple is marriage "cannot be the cause for canceling the residency permit of a worker who resides in Israel legally and cannot be the cause for a person's detention," the petitioners said. "Migrant workers are not just 'workers,' but human beings with hopes, feelings and needs."