Beginning Friday morning, prisons will stop their policy of releasing illegal entrants to Israel once they have passed a security check, Voice of Israel radio reports. Instead, those who enter the country illegally will remain in jail until deportation, unless they are granted authorization to remain in the country.
The change follows criticism over the past several days, during which police have conducted an operation dubbed “Going Home” to round up and deport illegal aliens. Many noted the futility of deporting illegal entrants while at the same time allowing more to enter the country.
In the past, prisons checked to ensure that entrants had no ties to terrorism, then sent them to any destination in the country for free.
On Sunday, the “Going Home” operation will mark its first major success, with 100 Sudanese citizens going home to South Sudan by choice. More than 200 other Sudanese citizens have agreed to go home as well.
A ministerial committee has approved a bill that would go further, by setting harsher punishments for those who employ illegal entrants or rent them apartments. Voting on the bill was delayed over objections from the Kadima party.