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"The never-ending flow of illegal residents into Israel during the last few years has led to a situation whereby the percentage of illegal residents in the country is one of the highest in the world, relative to the local population and the number of employees in the job market,” the statement said. “This fact increases unemployment among Israelis and significantly alters Israel's internal demographics.”
Harel Kohen, an aide to Yaakov Katz, the lawmaker who heads the Knesset's committee on foreign workers, said that taking a firm line on foreign workers illegally in Israel is about preserving the Jewish character of Israel.
"We need to ensure they do not stay in Israel, otherwise Israel is at risk of having its own people assimilated," he said. "We could lose our Jewish identity."
The Interior Ministry says there are some 300,000 illegal migrants and approximately 70,700 legal foreign workers in Israel.