Court Decides to Halt Deportation of Israeli-born Filipino Children, Detained as They Headed to School

An Israeli appeals court overturned Sunday the order to deport two Filipino migrants' children and their mothers on the grounds that the minors' welfare was not examined according to the new regulations issued by the Justice Ministry.

This is the first time the court reverses a deportation order since the current wave of deportations began.

Gena Antigo, 13, and Ralph Harel, 10, were released on a 30,000 shekel ($8,510) bail each on Friday. 

Antigo, an Israel-born Philippines national, is a seventh-grader who attends the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium School in Tel Aviv. She was arrested with her mother who has been living in Israel since 2004 without a permit.

Two days earlier Harel, an Israel-born fifth-Grader, was arrested with his mother Maureen Mariano, a Philippines national residing in Tel Aviv, as he was getting ready to go to his school.     

According to the new regulations, minors under the age of 12 should receive a hearing before a decision is made to deport them, while taking into consideration their will and wellbeing. 

The Population and Immigration Authority detained Antigo without conducting a hearing, in violation of the new Justice Ministry directive, Haaretz reported last week.