Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday he would call for a renewed discussion during the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday of the decision to deport 400 children of migrant workers, as the deportation would create “irreversible damage.”
“The decision to grant 800 children of migrant workers legal status is just and worthy, but the decision to arrest and deport 400 children from Israel is arbitrary,” Barak said.
“The sight of police officers raiding migrant workers’ homes and forcing the children out, the sight of guards holding families in detention camps and the sight of interior ministry inspectors escorting Hebrew-speaking children on to planes, will cause us all irreversible damage, both from within and abroad,” he added.
The cabinet decision dictates the deportation of children except those of migrant workers who have been in Israel for more than five years, and are either entering first grade or a higher school grade.
The children who are allowed to stay must also speak Hebrew, and if they were not born in Israel, they must have arrived in Israel before the age of 13.