Two Families of Migrants Slated for Deportation Released on Bail

Both families were freed until the end of the proceedings against them, with the threat of deportation still hanging over their heads ■ Bail was raised by residents of Herzliya, where they reside

Ishora Uprita and her children, Shira, aged 4, and Michael, aged 9 pose with activist Shalom Janah, who fought to release them from detention.
Uci

An Israeli court ordered on Friday the release of a migrant worker from Nepal and her two children, who were born in Israel, after 22 days of detention.

Ishora Uprita and her children, Shira, aged 4, and Michael, aged 9, were released on a 35,000 shekel ($10,000) bail raised by residents of Herzliya, where they reside, and parents of children who attend Michael's school.  

In addition, the Tel Aviv District Court also ordered the release of four members of a family from the northern Moshav of Dishon — a female migrant from the Philippines, a male migrant from Thailand, and their four Israeli-born children on a 15,000 shekel bond raised by friends and social activists. The migrants and their children were in detention for two weeks.

>> Read more: High Court refuses to freeze deportation of migrant workers' Israeli-born children

Both families were freed on bail until the end of the proceedings against them, with the threat of deportation still hanging over their heads.

Michael Uprita's friends have been demonstrating for weeks outside the court and the detention facility where he stayed, while the Tadmor-Levy law firm raised the funds for his and his family's release. 

Holocaust survivor Shalom Janah was also active in the battle for their release, alongside Herzliya Mayor Moshe Fadlon and Kahol Lavan lawmaker Yael German.

The family's attorney, David Tadmor, said that “We are fighting against putting young children in jail. It is simply inhuman. Last month we submitted six motions on the matter and an infinite number of requests and documents.

"It is clear to us that the Population, Immigration and Border Authority will do everything in its power to deport the two children and their mother. We will continue to fight against the [attempts to] deport them, but now we'll wage our battle while the children are not sitting in jail as if they were criminals.”

Two weeks ago, the Population and Immigration Authority said it had planned to put Ishora and her children [who are Indian nationals] on a plane to Nepal with a stopover in India, so “if she wants to, she can arrange their status in Nepal, and if she wants to, she can remain in India with her children, since there is free movement between the two countries,” wrote Elimelech Wechsler, the official in charge of border control, in his decision.

Tadmor argued that deportation would break up the family unit since Uprita can’t obtain legal status in India. “The authority is not worried whether the children would be allowed to enter Nepal, of which they are not citizens, or how Indian authorities will treat the mother, who is not an Indian national."

The children, whose father is Indian, were never registered with the Nepalese Embassy in Israel. Consequently, they aren’t considered Nepalese citizens and would have no legal status if they went there.