‘Discreet’ immigration task force detains another 60 migrant workers. Here’s guessing that a lot of them are Arabs who think that the “Zionists” are not so bad after all

The new illegal immigration task force rounded up 60 migrants yesterday and sent them to a detention center in Holon, where they will be interrogated and their residency status determined. “They are very discreet,” said a migrant who saw the operation. “It looks like they want to avoid creating panic. The buses are parked on the side, and inspectors quietly approach people, check their documents and send them to the bus if necessary.”

The new authority detained 300 migrants in its first raid last week. Protesters and human rights activists demonstrated Saturday, calling for an end to arresting migrants. “Rights groups are trying to stir up a fuss and use children in the demonstrations, even though the authority aims only to arrest illegal immigrants,” said Sabine Haddad, the authority’s spokeswoman. “Authority head Yaakov Ganot cooperated with the Israel National Council for the Child from the beginning, and told them what was going to happen. Strangely, everybody is behaving as though something surprising took place. “There’s no doubt that people here illegally should adhere to the rule of law, and those with residency should be treated accordingly. But that does not justify declaring war on the rule of law and exploiting children to do so,” she said.

Meanwhile, several human rights organizations are planning to petition the High Court of Justice. The groups, including Physicians for Human Rights, Kav La’oved – Workers’ Hotline, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, will ask the court to block the arrest of migrants for being between Hadera and Gedera. The authorities have banished migrants from this area.

“The State Prosecution is currently debating whether to prohibit asylum seekers from residing in central Israel, while the Interior Ministry is enforcing the ban on asylum seekers being between Hadera and Gadera,” the petition states. “This is unacceptable.”

Rights organizations will also claim that asylum seekers and migrants need access to central Israel to obtain medical help, because they lack insurance and that is where all the free clinics are located.

The Immigration Ministry says more than 250,000 illegal foreign workers live in Israel. The new task force concentrates responsibilities that previously were divided among several government offices. It offers migrants legal protection (previously a Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry responsibility) and also has taken over the detainment and deportation of illegal immigrants from the police.

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