RIGHT NOW encourages Israel to adopt the following policy proposals regarding African refugees and asylum seekers.
➡ Fix the government's broken Refugee Status Determination Process.
Right Now supports reversing the government’s current policy on refugees and the implementation of a fair and effective Refugee Status Determination Process. This internationally-standardized process ensures that the case of each asylum seeker is reviewed and grants them protections until their status is awarded or rejected. In other countries, 80% to 90% of African asylum seekers are found to be refugees, however in Israel the acceptance rate is below 1%. Right Now supports an immigration policy in which, through a fair and effective Refugee Status Determination Process, each individual asylum seeker is researched and heard, resulting in the determination of refugee status on a case-by-case basis. We recommend that Israel provide refugees with permanent or long-term temporary social residency and award support services inline with the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1957 Protocol, including the right to work, the right to an education, the right to health services and the right to travel freely in and out of the country.
➡ End the unjust "Deposit Law" as a form of economic oppression
The government must end efforts to incentivise self-deportation through targeted economic oppression. By deducting 20% of each asylum seeker's salary into a sealed bank account on top of the already inflated taxes they pay, this law forced the wages of hard-working asylum seekers below minimum wage forcing them into desperate economic conditions. Because refugees are only able to access this money if they leave the country, this has incentivised unsafe pathways such as deportations to Uganda and Rwanda. While this fund can be useful for those able to resettle to safe countries either through resettlement, family reunification or sponsorship, the level of forced monthly payments is high enough to be considered an undue hardship, which recently led the court to offer discounts to select vulnerable groups such as single mothers and individuals with disabilities. This policy should ideally be cancelled altogether, or at minimum the discounted payments should be extended to the wider population.
➡ End the unjust deportation of asylum seekers.
The government must end attempts to send asylum seekers or refugees to their home countries or third-party countries in which their lives are in danger. Currently, attempts have been made by the Interior Ministry to secretly and overtly deport asylum seekers to life-threatening destinations by coercion and misinformation. For those who do not receive refugee status upon completing the Refugee Status Determination Process, they should be assisted in determining the safest places available to them.