News on migration and asylum from around the region - Nouvelles de la région sur les questions de migration et d'asile

Thursday, November 27, 2014

[ISRAEL] Haaretz: Israel aims to drive Africans out by squeezing their employers

27 November 2014

Strategy is to deter hiring of asylum-seekers with

prohibitive fees on businesses.

Employers of African asylum-seekers will soon be required to pay exorbitant fees under a new government plan aimed at drying up these jobs and thus inducing the Eritrean and Sudanese “infiltrators,” as the government calls them, to leave the country. The plan was initiated by the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the ministries of Interior, Justice and Finance.
Last week the Interior Ministry published a memorandum labeled a “proposal to prevent infiltration and encourage asylum seekers and foreign workers to leave Israel”. The memorandum includes an amendment to the law dealing with foreign workers, designating a new fund to be established for their benefit. The money deposited there will only become available to them on departure.
The memorandum stipulates that employers deposit 20% of employee salaries into this fund. In addition employers will have to deposit an additional 20% out of their own pockets, which is twice as high as the amounts deposited by employers of other workers in this country. For most employees, these funds go towards pensions and severance payments. Thus, 40% of asylum seekers’ salaries will be deposited monthly in this fund. They will receive the cash only when they leave Israel. “This amendment is designed to improve the social benefits of foreign workers, including ones who came here illegally. It is meant to encourage foreign workers to leave at the end of their term of employment and to coax illegal workers to leave”, states the memorandum.