Israel Recruiting Inspectors to Deport Asylum Seekers by Force, Promising $9,000 Bonus

100 inspectors will be hired over two years, some to work for the voluntary repatriation program and others to enforce laws against asylum seekers and their employers

Asylum seekers demonstrating in Jerusalem against their forced deportation from Israel, January 2017.
Emil Salman

The Population and Immigration Authority is offering a bonus of up to 30,000 shekels ($8,700) to civilians willing to temporarily serve as inspectors in the expulsion of asylum seekers.

On Sunday the authority published a notice that it is hiring 100 inspectors on a temporary basis for terms of two years, from March 2018, as well as 40 investigators for the unit that examines asylum requests.

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The notice says the inspectors would work in the greater Tel Aviv area.

Israeli immigration officers check the documents of an African migrant in south Tel Aviv June 13, 2012.
REUTERS

Thirty would work as part of what the government calls a voluntary repatriation program, Yetzia MRatzon, despite its announcement last week that asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan who dont leave voluntarily by April will be subject to indefinite imprisonment.

The job, explains the announcement, would entail holding hearings for the asylum seekers; interviewing and documenting the ones prepared to leave voluntarily; coordinating and issuing travel papers and coordinating flights; accompanying asylum seekers; and monitoring their reentry to their countries or origin or elsewhere.

The other inspectors would be involved in enforcement of laws against asylum seekers and their employers. Their job would be to find them, record their stories and investigate the employers as well.

The job requires a high school education. Experience in combat or security is a plus, the ad states.

Those hired would get personal contracts and appropriate pay as well as a bonus that can reach 30,000 shekels – payable at the end of the employment term. Staying in the job for a year will gain the employee a 20,000-shekel bonus.

The 40 new inspectors would work in the Refugee Status Determination unit of the Interior Ministry, which is located in south Tel Aviv. The investigators would look into the veracity of the claims and their relevance under the asylum treaty. They will also look into the political situation in the asylum seekers country of origin and write an opinion on the risk to their life, their right to asylum and other issues.

Punitive steps against those ordered to leave, and their employers – who could face fines – will start from April, the authority said. The 3,500-shekel bonus for leaving Israel will be gradually reduced starting in April as well.

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The headline of this article was amended on January 28 to more accurately reflect that the Population and Immigration Authority is recruiting temporary inspectors to help deport migrants.