Filipina Mother of Israeli Toddler to Be Deported, Despite Ministry Promises

Evelyn Belseng had a son with her Israeli husband, who passed away shortly after; she is set to be deported despite declarations by Interior Minister Eli Yishai that she would be allowed to stay.

A Filipina woman is being deported even though her child has Israeli citizenship, despite declarations by Interior Minister Eli Yishai that she would be allowed to stay.

The decision to deport Evelyn Belseng comes after an interministerial committee on humanitarian affairs, headed by Population and Immigration Authority chief Amnon Ben-Ami, decided her case was not a humanitarian one.

foreign worker child
Alon Ron

Belseng has appealed to the Jerusalem District Court, requesting an injunction against the deportation until a July hearing.

Belseng, 38, came to Israel on a work visa in 2002. In 2007 she met an Israeli man, Michael David, and in November 2009 she gave birth to their son, Gilad.

Gilad was recognized as an Israeli citizen in June, just days before his father died of cancer. Due to David's death, Belseng's residency process was halted and in August 2010 she was issued a deportation order.

"Gilad is very close to his father's family and I would not want to take him away from his home," Belseng said. "Our situation is not easy and I am not even being given a work permit until the legal process is completed. I cannot imagine what his situation will be in the Philippines without the loving and supportive family we have here."

The David family is also trying to block Belseng's deportation.

The Population Authority and Yishai choose "humanitarian" cases very selectively. Several months ago, for example, a South African drug dealer serving a long jail term in Thailand was granted Israeli citizenship so he could serve his term here. This is the first time an interior minister has granted citizenship to a foreign prisoner.

Yishai told Haaretz last September, "Illegal aliens are expelled from Israel, but the mother of an 11-month-old Israeli baby will not be expelled."

The Interior Ministry responded, "Belseng has been in Israel illegally since 2009. Her request for permanent status was rejected because she does not meet the legal requirements."