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Israel cabinet passes law allowing year-long detention for undocumented immigrants

The Israeli Cabinet [official website] on Sunday adopted an amendment to the Law for the Prevention of Infiltration [text, PDF], permitting the state to detain undocumented immigrants for up to one year. The amendment is a direct response to an earlier ruling [JURIST report] of the Supreme Court of Israel [official website] holding that the 2012 amendment to the Law for the Prevention of Infiltration, which allowed police forces to arrest undocumented immigrants and detain them for up to three years without trial, was unconstitutional. This most recent amendment to the law also mandates [Jersusalem Post report] the construction of an "open" detention center that will only be locked at night, and further requires undocumented immigrants detained at the center to register three times per day and prohibits them from seeking employment.

The issue of undocumented immigration [JURIST backgrounder, JURIST news archive] has been a controversial issue throughout the world. Earlier this week Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] and Seton Hall University School of Law [academic website] released a report documenting the extreme hardships [JURIST report] suffered by asylum seekers in the US due to its immigration policies. In October UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile; JURIST news archive] urged the international community to adopt new approaches to migration [JURIST report], focusing on the vulnerability and human rights of migrants. In February JURIST Guest Columnist Victoria Neilson of Immigration Equality argued [JURIST op-ed] that truly comprehensive immigration reform in the US must go further in addressing LGBT issues.

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