Israel deports 150 more South Sudanese


Israel deported 150 more migrants from South Sudan.

A plane loaded with the African migrants, which Israel calls illegal infiltrators, left Israel for South Sudan on June 25. Some 120 South Sudanese migrants had left Israel last week.

The migrants reportedly are leaving voluntarily in exchange for a cash grant and a flight home. Migrants who do not leave voluntarily will be imprisoned, according to reports.

Israel rounded up dozens of South Sudanese last week in immigration control sweeps.

More than 1,500 South Sudanese migrants are living in Israel, according to estimates. Some 600 reportedly have signed statements saying they are willing to be repatriated to South Sudan

Two more group flights reportedly will return to the country next week.

Violence against African migrants has increased in Israel in recent weeks. 

Israeli court orders Filipina and daughter deported


An Israeli court ruled that a 4-year-old girl born in Israel and her Filipina mother will be deported, in a case that prompted intervention by the Israeli prime minister’s wife.

The Central District Court ruled Thursday that the two must leave the country, despite a stay of the order issued Tuesday as the two were about to be compelled to board a plane back to the Philippines.

The mother has been living illegally in Israel. The father, also from the Philippines, is a legal worker in Israel. The mother had asked the court to allow them to remain in Israel for another month and leave voluntarily, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The father had requested time to say a proper good-bye to his daughter when the stay was issued earlier in the week. At the time, Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote a letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai asking him to halt the deportation.

The Israeli government says the child did not meet new criteria set out last year, but only enforced since March, to allow her to stay in the country. The criteria include studying during the past school year in an Israeli state school; being enrolled for the next year in first grade or higher; being born in the country and speaking Hebrew; and residing in the country for five consecutive years.

According to the Interior Ministry, the child was not enrolled in a state preschool or kindergarten last year or for the coming year.

Living and Working [Il]legally in America — It’s Not Just for Latinos Anymore


Hardly a day goes by without some news about them — the undocumented. Congress debates the issue of how to handle them, and pundits argue even as the number of illegal immigrants grows. Supposedly, there are more than 12 million of them in the United States. Thinking about them, we tend to see the shadowy figures on this week’s cover: Mexicans or Central Americans scurrying across the road at night, abandoned by their coyote in the desert dust. They pick our fruit, cut our lawns and bus our dishes. But what does illegal immigration have to do with us?

More than you might think. According to statistics compiled by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), during 2004 alone, 540 Israelis were deported or about to be deported. If that many Israelis were caught, it stands to reason that there are many thousands more — in Los Angeles as well as the rest of the United States — who have not yet been located by authorities. And we know from interviews we conducted that — besides Israelis — there are many Jews from Latin America and elsewhere who also fall into this category.

Morris Ardoin, who handles media relations for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), said that he knows of no way to determine how many Jews are in the United States without a valid visa or working in contravention of the law. “Making a guess on that would be a shot in the dark,” he said. “Like asking how many stars in the sky.”

Maybe there aren’t quite as many as there are stars in the sky, but there are undoubtedly many thousands of illegal Jewish aliens throughout the United States and in Los Angeles, and they have their own stories to tell. The following are three very different stories of the Jewish experience of illegal immigration.