WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Israel started facing big problems with illegal aliens entering the country through its then-open, 150-mile border with Egypt in 2007.
- Majority of the illegal migrants settled in poor neighborhoods in Tel Aviv where violent crimes, including sexual offenses and robberies, increased.
- In 2013, Israel completed building a “wall” dropping illegal immigration by 98%, and in 2017, no illegal entry has been reported.
In 2007, over 5000 African migrants entered Israel illegally from Egypt, according to Israel’s Immigration and Population Authority. In 2011, 17,281 illegal migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, arrived.
The illegal migrants made Tel Aviv’s poor areas their home. With their arrival, crime in the neighborhoods soared. Sexual offenses, robberies, and violent crimes were higher in areas with high percentages of African migrants.
In 2015, an Israeli police survey in the areas revealed that only 38 percent of residents felt safe outside their homes at night and only 43 percent felt secure inside their homes after dark.
The Knesset, Israel’s legislative branch, started passing laws that provide negative incentives to illegal migrants. One of the approved laws required migrants’ employers to reserve 20 percent of their salaries that migrants would get only when they leave Israel.
The most important action Israel made to solve its illegal migration problem was building a border wall in 2012. After its completion in 2013, illegal immigration decreased drastically by 98 percent. Only 123 African migrants were able to enter Israel. In 2017, no one was able to get through.
Determined to solve the illegal immigration problem, the Knesset passed another law urging the government to deport around 40,000 remaining illegal migrants either to countries where they came from or to countries that will take them willingly.
There were speculations that Rwanda and Uganda signed secret agreements with Israel to welcome migrants into their countries. Although migrants are being sent to both countries, both governments denied ever signing any deals. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees considers both countries safe for relocation.
The Israeli government determined that all illegal migrants who will leave Israel by the end of March will be awarded a $3500 compensation and a one-way ticket either to their countries of origin or to third countries which have accepted to take them in. Illegal aliens who refuse to leave Israel by the end of March will be detained pending deportation. Israel will pay them a considerably smaller amount for leaving the country.