Israel immigration authorities detain six-year-old mentally disabled migrant
The girl, who was born in Israel to parents who migrated from Sierra Leone, was detained while her family was waiting for a response to their request for legal status.
Inspectors from Israel's Population and Immigration Authority detained a six-year-old mentally disabled girl on Thursday morning, as the first step to her and her family's expulsion from Israel.
The girl, who was born in Israel to parents who migrated from Sierra Leone, is enlisted in the state education system for children with disabilities, and was supposed to enter first grade in September. She was detained along with her family, despite the fact that they have yet to receive a final response from the Interior Ministry's humanitarian committee regarding their request to gain legal status in the country.
According to Israeli Children, an NGO dedicated to the rights of children of migrant workers, the girl and her family were detained at approximately 5 A.M., in contradiction with the declarations of Israel Population and Immigration Authority head, Amnon Ben Ami, according to which the authority does not wake children up in the middle of the night.
"The jailing of children must be our last option, and in this case it was the first," said NGO representatives. The Population and Immigration Authority claim that the girl was detained at 6 A.M., which is not considered the middle of the night.
The Population and Immigration Authority responded to the event, saying that the family was "illegally living in Israel" and that their request to gain legal status for humanitarian reasons was rejected.
According to the authority, after the family was detained it was revealed that they had submitted an appeal to the Interior Ministry. This does not prevent them from staying in custody while the appeal is being reviewed."