Israel issuing deportation notices to asylum seekers

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An asylum seeker holding up a deportation notice on Feb 4, 2018. (photo: Meged Gozani / Haaretz)

The first round of notices to about 20,000 people asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan.

By Ilan Lior | Haaretz | Feb 4, 2018


“I don’t want to go to Rwanda. I’m from Eritrea, and I don’t want to return to Eritrea. I’m going to jail, without fear.”
— Dabsai, a 47-year-old Eritrean resident of Netanya


The Population, Immigration and Border Authority will begin issuing deportation notices on Sunday to asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan who are not held in the Holot detention facility.

In the first stage the notices will be issued to men without children who come to renew their residence visa. Citizens of Eritrea and Sudan are required to renew their visas every two months at the authority’s office in Bnei Brak. They will receive their last two-month visa, along with a letter stating that during this period they are expected to leave the country, otherwise they will be forbidden to work and can expect to be incarcerated indefinitely. Authority personnel will suggest that they leave for either Rwanda or their native countries. . . .

The authority is in the process of hiring 100 new immigration inspectors, who will begin work shortly. From the beginning of April, asylum seekers who were asked to leave the country but do not will be subject to arrest.

According to population authority figures, there are some 39,000 Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel, including 5,000 children. For now, deportation notices will not be issued to women, children, fathers of children, anyone recognized as a victim of slavery or human trafficking, and those who had requested asylum by the end of 2017 but haven’t gotten a response.

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