President Rivlin Decided Not to Intervene in Deportation of Migrants and Children

More than 70 foreign workers from the Philippines, most of them children, are due to be deported starting later this week

Protests against the deportation of Filipino children in front of the prime minister's residence, Jerusalem, June 11, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had considered acting to prevent the deportation of foreign workers from the Philippines and their children, but decided not to intervene after a Tuesday meeting with a top immigration official.

During the meeting, director general of the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority, Shlomo Mor-Yosef, told Rivlin that canceling the planned deportation of some 50 children and 36 adults, which is due to start on Friday, would create a precedent for Israel to allow other groups of foreign nationals to stay in the country.

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Rivlin’s office confirmed in a statement the meeting took place “in order to thoroughly study the issue, its meaning and implications, following many calls to intervene.” It also said that “After looking into the details and the data, it’s been understood that any potential assistance only relates to particular cases.”

Deputy Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Zippi Brand, who was one of the people to approach Rivlin on the issue, thanked the president for his willingness to consider action, but said she was “sorry that a solution hasn’t been found.” According to Brand, “The key to a solution is now in the hands of the government and its head, who I hope will fathom the severity of this case and act immediately.”

Brand also vowed to “keep making our utmost efforts to try and find a solution for those families and the children who were born in Israel, speak only Hebrew and are Israeli in every bit of their hearts.”