(JTA) — Migrant workers from the Ivory Coast have two weeks to leave Israel before they begin being arrested and ultimately deported, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai said.
In a message Thursday to the migrants, Yishai reportedly said, "You have two weeks to leave. Whoever does so will be eligible for a subsidy. Whoever does not will be thrown out."
Migrants who choose to leave on their own will receive $500 per adult and $100 per child, according to a ministry statement, The Jerusalem Post reported.
There are up to 65,000 African migrants in the country, with those from the Ivory Coast numbering from a few hundred to about 2,000, according to the newspaper.
Earlier this week, 150 South Sudanese migrants were deported from Israel. The Interior Ministry offered them 1,000 euros, or about $800, for leaving voluntarily. A ministry spokesman said the discrepancy between that amount and what the Ivory Coast residents are receiving was unimportant, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara met in Israel earlier this month and agreed on a repatriation plan. The migrants had arrived in Israel without permission.