JERUSALEM: The deportation of a Filipino migrant worker and her Israeli-born teenage son was delayed at the 11th hour to await a final decision on their fate.
Rosemarie Perez was arrested by immigration officials along with her 13-year-old son Rohan last Tuesday for remaining in the country illegally.
They were taken to Ben-Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on Sunday night but later taken off the plane, said Beth Franco of the United Children of Israel (UCI) association.
The lawyer for the family, Carmel Bensur, has requested an urgent hearing on their status in a bid to have them remain in Israel, she told AFP.
On Sunday, a court had rejected Perez’s plea to stay, immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP.
“She has been here illegally for 10 years,” Haddad said.
UCI argues that it is cruel to send Rohan — and other children of migrants — to a country they have never seen and where they do not speak the language.
Last week, migrants, their children and Israelis staged a protest in Tel Aviv against the policy of deporting Israeli-born children of migrants.
Many of the 28,000 — largely Christian — Filipinos in Israel arrived to work as caregivers and home help, but according to UCI, some 600 families could now face expulsion over a loss of residency status.
Visas were conditioned on the requirement that they do not start a family in the country apart from certain exceptions, the association says.
The issue has particular resonance in Israel, where there are long-term fears about maintaining a Jewish majority in the country founded as a national homeland for Jews in the wake of the Holocaust.