Israel began warning thousands of African migrants on Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse.
On 3 January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese.
The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion.
Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily.
For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz said “anyone recognised 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” would also be exempt for now.
It added that this left the number subject to near-term deportation at “between 15,000 and 20,000 people.”
The authority is offering those who agree to leave a grant of $3,500, a flight ticket and help with obtaining travel documents.
Should they not leave by the deadline, the grant would be reduced and “enforcement measures” would be taken against them and anyone employing them, the authority says.
Israel refers to the tens of thousands of African migrants who entered the country illegally from neighbouring Egypt as “infiltrators”.
Israeli officials tacitly recognise that it is too dangerous to return Sudanese and Eritreans to their troubled homelands, but local media say the notices do not specify where departing migrants would be sent.
Aid workers and media have named Uganda and Rwanda, although both countries deny being a destination for migrants being expelled involuntarily.
Public opposition to the plan has been slow to build, but some Israeli airline pilots have reportedly said they will not fly forced deportees.
Academics have published a petition and Israeli Holocaust survivors wrote an open letter to Netanyahu last month pleading with him to reconsider.
Netanyahu on Sunday accused US Jewish billionaire George Soros of being behind the campaign against the forced deportations, Haaretz also reported.
New 15,000 Person Caravan On Its’ Way?
When just things were seemingly dying down from the last migrant caravan that has last several months after the mid-term elections, a new caravan may be making plans to come up here. However, this time it looks like a massive caravan of 15,000 people is getting ready to head on up to the U.S. Border.
LA Times: Another migrant caravan — this one estimated at 15,000 people — is preparing to leave Honduras on Jan. 15, according to migrant rights advocates and Spanish-language media.
“They say they are even bigger and stronger than the last caravan,” said Irma Garrido, a member of the migrant advocacy group Reactiva Tijuana Foundation.
As the Government ‘Shutdown’ continues over Border Security in the form of funding for a border wall, this may give Trump Administration more leverage against the Democrats to make a deal, especially considering Trump has given no signs of giving up.
Mass Migration ‘Dangerous Failure’ Says Hungary Official
Mass migration is dangerous not only regarding terrorism, public security, culture and social security, but also the whole healthcare system, State Secretary Bence Retvari told Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap.
According to Retvari, European epidemiological organisations have recorded a significant rise of communicable diseases, including those which had already disappeared from Europe thanks to vaccinations. Such cases have been documented in Malta, Italy and even Germany. According to the German Robert Koch Institute, since 2015 there’s a 300% rise in Hepatitis B and measles, and a 200% in malaria and syphilis cases. The frequency of diseases of unknown origin has grown from 14 to 26%.
According to Retvari, by supporting the “migrant visa” (humanitarian visa), the European Parliament “gave green light to millions of illegal and economic migrants, bringing even more dangers to Europe.”
“If we compare how much would Brussels spend on integrating one immigrant in Europe, – which is clearly a failed attempt based on the experiences of the recent decades -, and how much it costs to restore a home in a crisis zone, it’s clear that with the same amount of money we can help a lot more people in their areas than in Europe,” Retvari stressed.
He reminded that with the Hungary Helps programme the government was able to help thousands of people to restart their lives in Iraq. “So this solution is better considering effectiveness, social peace and the actually persecuted people too,” he added. According to the politician, this is the solution chosen by those who really want to help, unlike the “hypocritical Brussels elite.”
“No Wall No Money” Lindsey Graham Says To Nancy Pelosi
The ongoing struggle that US President Donald Trump is spearheading against the Congress to pass a bill securing $5.7 billion in funding for a US-Mexico border wall led the government into a partial shutdown on 21 December after the Senate failed to approve a budget bill.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has issued an ultimatum to House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, and other Democrats in the lower house stating that the budget deal will not be reached unless it includes funding for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico.
The tweet comes after Democratic leaders reportedly left the negotiating table on 27 December refusing to discuss ways of restoring government operations. Pelosi told reporters that she would rather leave the government in indefinite shutdown than agrees to fund Trump’s wall.
To Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats:
No Wall Money, No Deal.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 28, 2018