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Israel Immigration Detention

In recent years, Israel has experienced a wave of immigration comprised largely of asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan. This influx has fueled alarmist discourse in the country regarding purported socio-economic problems and threats to the Jewish character of the state. The rightwing Likud-led government has responded with a number of increasingly restrictive measures, including: the creation of a specialized immigration force called the Oz Unit, which is tasked with deporting all of the country’s more than 200,000 irregular residents; plans to build a wall along Israel’s border with Egypt because, according to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the country “cannot let tens of thousands of illegal workers infiltrate into Israel through the southern border and inundate our country with illegal aliens"; a proposal to build a massive new detention facility to confine up to 10,000 so-called infiltrators (unauthorized non-citizens) in order to “significantly reduce the economic incentive for them to arrive in Israel”; and the introduction in the  Knesset of a new “infiltration” law whose draconian measures regarding detention and deportation of asylum seekers led a coalition of Israeli human rights groups to describe it as “one of the most dangerous bills ever presented.”

Israel Quick Facts

  • International migrants:
    2,046,900
    New asylum applications :
    1,999