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Most of their families live thousands of miles away. For them Israel is the only world they know. Born in Israel, they speak Hebrew, their friends are Israeli and they understands precious little about the place they are about to be sent to. Despite this, they are not treated as citizens of the country.
According to figures released by the Interior Ministry on Friday, 20,000 children of foreign workers are residing in Israel illegally – 6,000 under the age of five, and 14,000 children aged six to 17.
Organizations aiding migrant workers said in response that the new figures were inflated and "part of the Interior Ministry's famous intimidation policy."
"It's written as a regulation that migrant workers cannot be in relationships," (Rotem Ilan, founder of Israeli Children) said. "They're not allowed to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, and they cannot come with their spouses or bring their children. If they have children, they need to send them to the Philippines or bring them in person and after three months they can return to work."
Private Israeli manpower companies, in exchange for commission fees far more than the legal limit, often ranging up to $10,000, recruit (migrant workers) in their home countries.
"No one controls this industry," said Idit Lebovitch, care-giving sector coordinator for the Tel Aviv-based Worker's Hotline. "Because most of these so-called agencies are not official agencies, you can't even track the person the employee paid."
Foreign laborers work for minimum wage, rarely enough to pay back the debt incurred from recruiter fees.
"The maximum time they allow us to work here [63 months] is really not enough for us to recover expenses," said Ferdie, a caregiver who graduated in electrical engineering but could not find a job in the Philippines.
Ferdie's elderly employer just passed away and under Israeli law, that's equivalent to being fired. He now faces a difficult and all-too-common decision: stay and work illegally, or head home.
"In the Bible - the same one Eli Yishai reads - it says: 'Love the foreigner, because you were foreign workers in the Land of Egypt,'" Matalon said. "Yet we've forgotten this, just 60 years after we created a state."