By Wayne Lutton, May 19, 2015
While the European Union dithers as a flood of illegal aliens from Africa and the Middle East crosses the Mediterranean and the Obama Administration, with the tacit support of Congress, encourages more illegal immigration from around the world, the State of Israel is taking a firm stand against asylum seekers and illegal workers from Africa. Last Thursday, the Washington Post finally took notice, and drew attention to Israel’s response in a report, prominently placed in the center of page one, headlined: “Israel Wants African Migrants Out. Now.” The on-line edition toned down the story title to read, “Israeli government to refugees: Go back to Africa or go to prison.”
William Booth, the Post’s Jerusalem bureau chief, disclosed that the Israeli government has delivered letters to thousands of Africans currently encamped in Holot, Israel, that they have 30 days to accept an offer of $3,500 in cash and a one-way ticket home or to a third country in Africa. If they refuse, they will be sentenced to up to three years in the Saharonim Prison, located in the Negev Desert, and then be expelled.
Writes Booth, “Israeli leaders have proclaimed that their tough approach – building a fence along the country’s border, denying work permits for illegal migrants, forcing them into a detention center in the desert – may ultimately save lives by dissuading migrants from attempting a perilous journey.”
He discloses that before the Israeli government started taking a tougher stand, “Africans were highly visible in bustling cities, working in kitchens and doing menial labor. There are still neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv filled with Africans. Many Israelis complained that they were being ‘invaded.’”
Booth goes on to explain that the Israeli government was “fearful that a wave of impoverished Africans, mostly Muslims from Sudan and Christians from Eritrea, would overwhelm the Jewish nature of the state.” Israel built a fence along its entire border with Egypt. “The steel barrier, completed in 2013, stopped illegal entry cold … . Today, almost no one attempts the trip.”
Israeli Transportation Minister, Israel Katz, is cited in this report, remarking, “While there are differences between us – the migrants traveling to Europe must cross a sea while those heading for Israel have a direct overland route – you can see the righteousness of our government’s policy to build a fence on the border with Egypt, which blocks the migrant workers before they enter Israel.”
Furthermore, Israel does not grant asylum freely. Indeed, over the past six years, less than one percent of Eritrean applicants have been accorded refugee status. And Sudanese “are now waiting in line to go back [home] … having concluded there is no future for them in Israel.”
The conduct of U. S. administrations, Republican and Democratic alike, could not be more at odds with Israel’s. The Israeli government is showing that enforcement works. If migrants, who the Israeli’s identify as “infiltrators,” know that they can’t work and they won’t receive welfare benefits, then they quit coming. The U. S. needs to follow Israel’s example.
Source: William Booth, “Israeli government to refugees: Go back to Africa or go to prison,” The Washington Post, May 14, 2015 (print and on-line editions).