Foreign workers - Alon Ron
Sudanese and Eritrean job seekers waiting to be offered work in Tel Aviv's central bus station. Photo by Alon Ron
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Knesset legal advisor Eyal Yinon launched a severe assault on the government yesterday, accusing it of trying to place a constitutional barrier before the Knesset while blatantly ignoring Supreme Court rulings. Yinon voiced his feelings at a meeting of the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee, ired by a government-sponsored bill which suggested that foreigners who married Israeli citizens but have not formalized their residency in the country will be deported and banned for up to 10 years before they can resume their residency arrangements.

According to the bill, a foreign partner of an Israeli citizen who had lived three years in the country without residency or citizenship will be deported for a "cooling off" period. A partner who had lived in Israel for up to three months will be deported for a year.

The bill, written by former Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, was originally meant to prevent Palestinians from living in Israel through fictitious marriages to Israelis. However, Yinon said, the law would also affect kibbutz volunteers, tourists and migrant workers.

Yinon pointed out that the Supreme Court has ruled before that any person has the fundamental constitutional right to make a life with whomever he or she chooses as a spouse. The bill is meant to apply to spouses married after its enactment.