PH to Israel: Treat Filipinos facing deportation well
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has asked the government of Israel to be “orderly and benignant” in the manner in which they would repatriate overstaying migrant Filipino mothers and their children.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the DFA said it raised the said issue when Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs Leslie Baja met with the deputy director of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gilad Cohen.
“The issue was discussed at the sidelines of the annual bilateral consultations between the Philippines and Israel,” the DFA said.
According to the DFA, Baja appealed to Cohen that “in the spirit of friendly relations between the Philippines and Israel, to treat overstaying Filipinos who need to be repatriated in an orderly and benignant manner, especially since children may be involved.”
Moreover, DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola expressed readiness to provide reintegration assistance to all the Filipinos who will be repatriated.
The DFA added that the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv is coordinating with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration “for additional welfare and reintegration assistance” of those facing deportation.
Earlier, an Israel-based newspaper, Haaretz, reported that “dozens of children” and their Filipino mothers who are migrant workers in the country, has been arrested by the Population, Immigration and Border Authority and was informed “that they will be deported in July or August.”
“The children facing deportation were either born in Israel or have spent most of their lives in the country, and Hebrew is their first or only language,” the report said.
“Last week three mothers from the Philippines were forced to sign pledges to leave Israel with their children by July,” it added.
The report also said that “four of the arrested mothers were sent to Givon Prison with their children” with one as young as four years old, “and were deported after a week in jail.”
“The others were released the same day they were arrested after signing delayed deportation orders for July or August,” it said. / gsg
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