One of the frequent talking points about illegal migrants, especially in Europe is that it’s ‘inevitable and we have to accept it.’
Israel is a first world, prosperous nation in the midst of a number of countries who are anything but that. And it had a similar problem with illegal migrants. Here’s how they solved it.
It should be mentioned that aside from being a haven for Jews, Israel has been relatively generous to real non-Jewish refugees*, considering how small the country is. In the 1970’s, Israel took in a number of Vietnamese boat people fleeing communist gulags and they’re still there. They also took in a number of Muslim Bosnian refugees, some who stayed and some who returned after the war ended. Israel is also the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population is actually growing. And Israel is home to the headquarters of the Baha’i faith, who were horribly persecuted in Iran once the ayatollahs took over in 1979.
That said, let’s move on and see how the problem developed and how Israel solved it.
Almost all of the illegal migrants were Muslims who came from Sudan, Eritrea and other countries in the region. As in Europe, they came to enjoy Israel’s welfare benefits but showed few signs of ever assimilating. They mostly came through Israel’s back door, its border with Egypt and Gaza.
At first, the Israeli government didn’t devote much attention, which meant that the numbers began to increase. Many of the migrants gravitated to South Tel Aviv, where they terrorized the local inhabitants and became a major factor in the area’s increase in crime, especially thefts, sexual assaults, murders and muggings.
The Israeli government finally took action and built a fence across the part of its Egyptian border not covered by the border wall with Gaza. That cut the number of illegal migrants to zero. But before the fence was finished, The number of illegal migrants reached about 50,000, and were still a problem to be dealt with since their behavior hadn’t changed.
These illegal migrants, by the way were referred to as ‘infiltrators’ by many Israelis in and out of government since they had penetrated the borders illegally in a very security conscious country. No one to my knowledge, not even the Israeli Left referred to them as ‘immigrants’. The Left preferred to call them ‘refugees’ in an attempt to equate them with the other refugees Israel had given a home to, both Jews and non-Jews. However, the Left is not exactly ascendant in Israel these days.
Originally, the government put together a detention center to try and evaluate actual refugees from criminals and welfare scroungers. Israel’s Supreme Court originally ruled against that, which meant that a different solution was called for. What the Israelis finally did was simply to identify refugees who had real claims for asylum because they came from a war zone and give them a different status than the others. The ones from Eritrea and Sudan are mostly bring returned immediately to their home countries, which takes care of the majority of the illegal migrants. Any of the others who put in a legal request for asylum by Dec. 31, 2017, and whose request has not yet been processed, especially if they came with children won’t be deported until a decision on their status is reached. A total of 14,700 asylum requests were submitted in 2017,over half of them from Ukrainians.
The other illegal migrants are being given a choice. They can leave voluntarily before March 31st, receive free air fare and the equivalent of $3,500 USD. A couple of African countries have offered to take them in (which probably required some additional baksheesh from the Israeli government). Or they can refuse to leave and be detained in Holot Detention center until they’re deported, butsans that $3,500 bonus.
The Israelis will probably allow most of the 14,700 asylum seekers to stay if they have a legitimate claim, especially if they came with children. Israel can easily absorb them, and they will become another part of Israel’s fascinatingly diverse population. It never fails to crack me up when some idiot who has never been to Israel calls it ‘apartheid.’
The others will eventually be sent home, and since no more infiltrators are coming in…well, problem solved.
Just imagine if the Europeans and the U.S. solved their problems with illegal migrants like that!
* For the record, I do not consider those refugees who are serviced by UNRWA and call themselves ‘Palestinians’ to be real refugees, not after 70 years. There are actually only about 20,000 Arabs that could be called ‘refugees’ from 1948 left alive today, and for a significant number of them there’s no real proof they ever resided in what became Israel anyway, since by its own admission UNWRA never checked.
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Rob Miller writes for Joshuapundit. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, The Washington Examiner, American Thinker, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle, Real Clear Politics, The Times Of Israel, Breitbart.Com, Yediot and other publications.
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