This is what a huge step forward looks like.
Confronted with an illegal immigration invasion more than a decade ago as migrants from the Horn of Africa sought the benefits of living in a First World country while escaping the misery of Eritrea and Sudan, the Israeli government built a “wall” of security on its border with Egypt that’s worked wonders to dry up the numbers.
And if Israel’s immigration policy is a hot-button controversy in its domestic and international politics today, its biggest immigration problem is one Americans opposed to illegal immigration could only wish for.
Since embarking on its get-tough policy on illegal immigration that included the “wall” on the border and stepped up deportation measures, Israel has cut its illegal immigration population from about 65,000 at its peak less than a decade ago to about 37,000, according to CNN.
Those numbers might not seem a lot by American standards — maybe a couple of blocks in Los Angeles, or a Democrat voter registration drive on a good month — but Israel’s population is tiny compared to the United States.
Writing in Breitbart News in February, Israeli-American journalist Caroline Glick reported that there were only 2,766 illegal immigrants in all of Israel in 2006. That number tripled when more than 5,000 illegals entered the country from Eritrea and Sudan through the Egyptian border.
And more kept arriving, in numbers that would overwhelm even a much larger country.
As Glick wrote: “When you consider that in 2011, Israel’s total population stood at 7.7 million, that means that as a portion of its total population, Israel absorbed 95 times more illegal aliens that year than Spain did.”
And that’s when Israel decided on the “wall,” actually a fortified fence about 150 miles long that was completed in 2013.
“The results were dramatic. Illegal immigration fell immediately by 98 percent,” Glick wrote.
“In 2013, 123 African migrants entered the country. In 2017, no one arrived.”
Now, Israel’s immigration problems are far from solved. As Glick reported Monday on Breitbart News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced by a combination of domestic Israeli and international opponents to give up on a plan to remove most of the country’s remaining illegal immigrants from north Africa.
The deal is ominous for Netanyahu’s voters, she wrote, because it was a victory for the Israeli left, which, like the American left, considers opposition to illegal immigration to be racism.
But it has also set the stage for a confrontation between Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset and the country’s judiciary which, according to Glick, has usurped “the right to abrogate laws that had been duly passed.”
That might sound familiar to American ears, which keeps hearing federal judges issue rulings against President Donald Trump’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program for illegal immigrants.
Thanks to a combination of leftist forces that Glick described, Israel is far from out of the woods when it comes to dealing with its illegal alien population.
But thanks to the “wall” on Israel’s border with Egypt, that population stopped growing at an explosive rate, and now the country’s question is how it gets rid of the illegal aliens it has within its borders.
That’s a question American opponents of illegal immigration would love to be answering at this point, but it’s what a huge step forward looks like.
And it started with a “wall.”
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