Being an Eritrean Opposition Can’t Guarantee Refugee Status: Interior Minister

Racism, Indefinite Detentions, Isolation, Lack of basic Freedom do characterize the thousands of African Migrants in Israel
Racism, Indefinite Detentions, Isolation, Lack of basic Freedom do characterize the thousands of African Migrants in Israel

By TesfaNews,

Following the unprecedented mass demonstration this week by thousands of African migrants in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar chides there are people among the Eritrean migrants who believe that being an opposition leader might give them a better chance of receiving refugee status.

In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli interior minister accused some activists and NGOs for initiating the protests to pressure the State to change “infiltrator law“, but did not name them.

“We will not change our policies just because we are being pressured, and we also will not change our policies in order to achieve a fictitious calm that would harm our national interests,” said Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar.

Sa’ar said that it was important to understand that most of the “infiltrators” had come to Israel for economic reasons and not to seek asylum.

When asked about the claim made by protest organizers that these migrants cannot return to their homeland for their lives would be in danger, Sa’ar, argued that in December 2013 alone, some 300 migrants have been returned of their own free will to Sudan and Eritrea.

“Organizations that visited Eritrea to check if the people who returned were safe reported that these individuals had not been arrested.”

“Apparently the vast majority of them can return to their homelands, but the temptation to stay in Israel is very great since they can make more money in one month of working here than they can make there in more than two years back home.”

When asked if his ministry works in conjunction with the Eritrean government, Gideon Sa’ar confirms that he have had a number of meetings with the Eritrean ambassador to Israel whenever incidents of harassment occur including that of last month at Kibbutz Kinneret where the dozens attacked while ambassador having a meeting with migrants.

“I think there are people who believe that being opposition leaders would mean a better chance of receiving refugee status [within the] Eritrean migrants,” adds Sa’ar.

The minister confirms currently there are 53,600 infiltrators in Israel with out including the natural growth. However, he said only 1,800 applications for asylum has been submitted.

The massive demonstration has got the support of Israelis in the restaurant and hotel business too. Sa’ar, however, dismissed that support from restaurateurs and hoteliers is purely financial reason that rely on a cheap work force made up of migrant workers who entered the country illegally and said can only blame themselves or their employees who are striking.

The Minister finally acknowledges the protests have so far been carried out lawfully and said it is in the best interest of the migrants to do so.

“We will continue to carry out our policy with determination.”


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The full interview can be found HERE
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