Our fight against deporting children
We marched through Tel Aviv, together with hundreds of Filipina mothers and local teacher Danielle Levy, to bring the Interior Ministry’s office their report card. The grade? A big fat F.
Danielle decided to fight for the future of her students, John and Lance, Israeli kids from the Filipino community who were facing deportation along with almost 100 of their friends and classmates. We rallied behind her, and all of us marched as one - mothers and children of Filipino background, hundreds more schoolchildren and their parents, and activists standing with their struggle.
During the protest, we unfurled a huge banner with the 7,600 names of activists who joined Danielle in demanding that the Interior Ministry authorize these children remaining in Israel - the only home they have ever known. We handed out pamphlets with personal stories of these students and we brought the Interior Ministry the Fs that they have earned on this year’s report card. All this was made possible by hundreds of Zazim activists chipping in small donations towards the design and printing.
Avi Ofer, one of our activists, launched the critical campaign on “My Zazim,” our community campaign platform, to help stop the deportation of Ofresina Koanka and her son Michael James from their home in Yehud.
This is what Avi wrote on the campaign page:
This child is in special education and is about to start the seventh grade. At this exact moment, he and his mother are being held in a detention facility at Ben Gurion Airport and are in imminent danger of deportation. Despite a lawyer submitting an urgent appeal on their behalf, they have still received no answer regarding their plight. This is the first instance this summer of the Interior Ministry seeking to execute a deportation order against a mother and her Israeli-born child, a student in the Israeli education system. In the name of humanity, and in the name of Jewish values, we are calling on the State of Israel, on President Reuven Rivlin, on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on the Immigration Authority: do not raise your hand against this boy and his mother!
A decade ago, due to public support, children of Filipina women who were born and raised in Israeli received legal status. Together, we will succeed once more in this fight . We will win: we will create the critical mass needed to stop these deportations, and we will protect the rights of these children and their families.