JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli court ruled that a 4-year-old girl born in Israel and her Filipina mother will be deported, in a case that prompted intervention by the Israeli prime minister’s wife.
The Central District Court ruled Thursday that the two must leave the country, despite a stay of the order issued Tuesday as the two were about to be compelled to board a plane back to the Philippines.
The mother has been living illegally in Israel. The father, also from the Philippines, is a legal worker in Israel. The mother had asked the court to allow them to remain in Israel for another month and leave voluntarily, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The father had requested time to say a proper good-bye to his daughter when the stay was issued earlier in the week. At the time, Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote a letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai asking him to halt the deportation.
The Israeli government says the child did not meet new criteria set out last year, but only enforced since March, to allow her to stay in the country. The criteria include studying during the past school year in an Israeli state school; being enrolled for the next year in first grade or higher; being born in the country and speaking Hebrew; and residing in the country for five consecutive years.
According to the Interior Ministry, the child was not enrolled in a state preschool or kindergarten last year or for the coming year.