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Israel to deport some migrant workers’ children

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 800 children of foreign workers will be allowed to remain in Israel, while another 400 will be deported.

The Israeli Cabinet in a vote Sunday approved the recommendations of an interministerial committee on the status of foreign workers’ children. The vote was 13 to 10 to approve the recommendations, with four ministers abstaining.

The committee had recommended that children who meet specific criteria — among them having studied in the state school system in the past year; being registered for the upcoming school year; living in Israel for five consecutive years; being a Hebrew speaker; and having parents who entered Israel on a valid visa — be allowed to remain.

Documentation proving these requirements must be submitted within three weeks. 

"This decision is influenced by two main considerations — of humanity and Zionism," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said during the Cabinet meeting. "We are searching for a way to absorb and take into our hearts children who grew up here and were educated here as Israelis. On the other hand, we do not want to create an incentive for hundreds of thousands of illegal labor migrants to flood the country." 

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