The legal principle of non-refoulment says that a country should not return asylum seekers to their country of origin if they face the possibility of persecution or of having their rights violated in their country of origin. This principle seems to be absent in considerations being made in Israel to deport a group of refugees after having been arrested by the newly formed "Oz unit." Along with some cavalier comments by Israeli politicians that 'there are no more refugees from Darfur' workers who are in Israel illegally along with refugees from points across Africa are being arrested in large numbers, along with their children and being slated for deportation.
News of the possibility of the children of refugees being deported, some of whom were actually born in Israel has resulted in significant backlash from the Israeli public who seem shocked by the possibility of deporting these children who in many cases are well integrated into Israeli society and no little of the homes they are going to be returned to.
This issue has focused attention on the situation of many of these migrant workers and refugees in Israel, many of whom have taken jobs that were once held by Palestinians until the second intifada. As an example, this story tells of the challenges faced by some refugees from the Sudan living in Israel and just trying to get by.
In some cases, the law is on Israel's side. For example, prohibitions against migrant workers bringing their children with them have been broken, but just because something is law, does not make it right. It seems that the basic principles of fairness and compassion would allow these people, who merely want a better life for themselves and their family. It's good to see that public pressure and recognition of injustice seems to be having an impact on the myopic policies of the government.
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