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6-Year-Old Girl Arrested and Faces Deportation

Only two days after the school year ended, an Israel-born six-year-old girl was arrested along with her mother, a migrant worker from the Philippines, ahead of their deportation.

This is the first time a child at such a young age, which is attending kindergarten and is a part of the education system, is arrested to be deported. The Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority asked to clarify that they had waited for the school year to end before carrying out the arrest.

A.J. Mathias finished kindergarten on Friday and was planning to start first grade in two months. Her mother, Annalyn, had come to Israel legally, but lost her work permit when she had a baby.

Nearly two years ago, the government agreed to give residency status to migrants’ children and families, in accordance with criteria set by an inter-ministerial committee. The criteria was that the child had to have entered Israel before the age of 13 and to have been in the country for at least five years; that he or she was going up to first grade or higher on the day the decision was made; that the child knew Hebrew and that the parents had entered Israel legally and only subsequently lost their legal status.

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