300 Su­danese asy­lum-seek­ers granted tem­po­rary res­i­dence

Refugees from the Nuba Moun­tains, Blue Nile and Dar­fur to be granted le­gal sta­tus

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By TA­MARA ZIEVE

Is­rael will grant tem­po­rary res­i­dence sta­tus to 300 Su­danese asy­lum seek­ers who fled geno­cide from the Nuba Moun­tains, Blue Nile and Dar­fur, the In­te­rior Min­istry’s Pop­u­la­tion and Im­mi­gra­tion Author­ity con­firmed on Thurs­day.

The de­ci­sion comes af­ter a pe­ti­tion filed to the High Court by at­tor­neys Carmel Pomer­antz and Michael Pomer­antz in March on be­half of the Nuba and Blue Nile com­mu­nity, de­mand­ing that asy­lum seek­ers from those ar­eas be granted le­gal sta­tus.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Haaretz, of the 400 asy­lum seek­ers from those ar­eas, the state will grant sta­tus only to those who are 41-years-and older who en­tered Is­rael by 2012 and ap­plied for asy­lum or to 40-year-old asy­lum seek­ers who en­tered by Novem­ber 2011.

The Pop­u­la­tion and Im­mi­gra­tion Author­ity would not pro­vide The Jerusalem Post with an ex­pla­na­tion re­gard­ing these cri­te­ria, say­ing only that: “This is the de­ci­sion that was made. We have noth­ing fur­ther to add.”

Though the A5 hu­man­i­tar­ian visa is a step below refugee sta­tus, it will al­low its re­cip­i­ents to work and re­ceive health in­surance, as well as travel and driv­ing doc­u­ments.

Un­like most of the mid30,000 mi­grants in Is­rael which the state is try­ing to de­port or press to leave, the change would mean the state views the Nuba Su­danese to have the same spe­cial per­se­cuted sta­tus as the Dar­furi­ans in terms of hav­ing fled geno­cide

The Pomer­antz lawyers said they wel­come the de­ci­sion to start to give sta­tus to the Nu­bians and added: “We call for the im­me­di­ate set­tle­ment of the sta­tus of all Su­danese refugees from Dar­fur, the Nuba and the Blue Nile. The govern­ment now gives res­i­dency to some of the refugees, but con­tin­ues to try to dis­cour­age the rest and make them leave Is­rael, for ex­am­ple by steal­ing 20% of their salaries.”

Last year, Is­rael en­forced a new law that em­ploy­ers must deduct 20% of the wages of Eritrean and Su­danese em­ploy­ees who en­tered Is­rael il­le­gally from Egypt and don’t have le­gal sta­tus.

Yonah Jeremy Bob con­trib­uted to this re­port.

(Amir Co­hen/Reuters)

AN AFRICAN mi­grant holds an Is­raeli flag af­ter be­ing re­leased from Holot de­ten­tion cen­ter in 2015.

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