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New Israel regulation would limit illegal immigration

A new regulation by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior [official website, in Hebrew] would prevent illegal immigrants who had left the country returning again, the newspaper Ha'aretz reported Sunday. The regulation covering persons from a wide range of countries would subject persons entering illegally, leaving again and then attempting to re-enter again to a two year "cooling off period", and would affect thousands of people whose family members have received Israeli citizenship as foreign workers. Ha'aretz has more.

The regulation is a partial implementation of a draft Law of Illegal Aliens currently being debated in the Knesset [official website]. Critics say it is unreasonable and expect it to be rejected by the courts. Israeli immigration policies have been a focus of controversy since the initial Law of Return [text] was passed in 1950. That law gives anyone who was born Jewish, of Jewish ancestry or has converted to Judaism the right to return to Israel. In 2004, the Israeli Supreme Court [official site] recommended [JURIST report] that anyone who has converted to Judaism should receive Israeli citizenship. Last month's vote of support [JURIST report] by the Israeli cabinet for legislation that limits the court's ability to review laws passed by the Knesset, could potentially play a role in the implementation of The Law of Illegal Aliens.

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