In an unprecedented move, the Interior Ministry announced Tuesday that it intends on deporting a four-year-old girl, the daughter of a foreign worker, who was born and educated in Israel.
Israel's Population and Immigration Authority on Tuesday arrested the girl and her mother, originally from the Philippines, who are currently in a holding facility in Ben-Gurion International Airport, ahead of their deportation from the country.
The four-year-old was born in Israel and since then has been attending kindergartens in the Tel Aviv Municipality.
Last March, Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced his decision to postpone the deportation of foreign workers' children who go to Israeli schools and kindergartens, so the state began deporting smaller children. Last month Yishai's postponement period expired and Tuesday marks the first time the Interior Ministry announced the deportation of a girl who studied in the Israeli education system.
The arrest, two weeks before the beginning of the school year, marks the beginning of the implementation of the deportation policy agreed upon by the government in August, 2010. According to the new policy, children who are in the Israeli education system but do not meet the criteria which was decided upon, will be deported from Israel.
The Population and Immigration Authority said in response, "We are working according to a government decision. One of the explicit conditions of the decision is that a child must be enrolled at least in compulsory kindergarten (around age 5) in the year before the decision was made in order to avoid deportation. Until now, as long as we found children who were far from meeting the criteria, we did not check the type of educational institution the child was enrolled in. In this specific case, the girl did not meet the criteria despite her impending enrollment in preschool."
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