The subject of illegal workers in Modiin has been appearing in the media for quite a while now. The Modiin Police and the Border Control's frequent raids of construction sites in the city have already become routine, and it is no secret that dozens of illegal workers are arrested each month. Mynet recently took it upon themselves to investigate this phenomenon a little bit deeper by interviewing the illegal workers themselves. What is running through their minds? How do they feel? The local media website embarked on a journey to better understand "the other side."
"When the police officers come, I run to search for a hiding spot. You don't always have to run far. If there are only a few lone police officers, you can run between the buildings and find an abandoned building, or even hide underneath a pile of metal at a site or in a hidden room behind the wall. If a lot of police officers come, then it is already more complicated. Then you have to run to the open spaces. Sometimes I see older people running, and it is very unpleasant."
When asks if he gets afraid, the worker responds with a simple "of course." "When they come it's scary. Every is afraid and starts running. My heart pounds when this happens. They almost caught me a few times, but I managed to get away. I sit in the hiding place that I find, waiting for the police officers to leave and hoping that they don't catch me. Sometimes I find a hiding spot and think about the work time I'm losing, and about my family at home. What will happen if they send me back? Where will be get bread to eat? I have to work."
M. is an illegal worker at one of the construction sites in Modiin. It took time for him to agree to be interviewed ("no details, no trouble"), but when he speaks, he speaks of severe economic hardship that causes him to come here and work at Modiin's construction sites.
"If I had to sign a peace treaty, I would do it today," he says. "Wars do not interest me. We need income, and you have income. The problem is that the "big people" don't want peace; they're the ones that make the wars. We only think about income, bringing bread home."
Z, another illegal worker, has also had to hide more than a few times. "If the police officers are approaching, my heart pounds. I am afraid of going to jail. Whoever gets caught in Israel three times goes to jail for a month or a month and a half, and then I don't have a job and there is no income to bring home. I am afraid, but I don't have a choice. I have ten children at home, and I need to take care of them."
Last Saturday, Modiin police officers under the command of Superintendent Yoram Bina discovered a hidden spot created by the illegal workers in the city. The picture that the police officers revealed was astonishing: behind an innocent-looking wall with a very small hole in a residential complex that is currently being constructed, a secret, equipped room was found with a carpet, drink bottles, a cabinet and food. The officers arrived in the middle of the night, when the room was full of several dozen sleeping illegal workers.
In the house next door, behind an innocent looking clothes rack, the police discovered a makeshift room where illegal workers were caught sleeping on beds made of stilts. "Modiin is built by residents of the territories, some of whom are illegal," explains Superintendent Brina. "A certain percent of the same illegal workers that stay to sleep in the city carry out robberies or sexual attacks during the evening... We receive intelligence on workers that do not have legal permits, and we get information from citizens that live in the area. Our job is to catch the illegal workers and make sure that they don't wander here illegally... If they see one patrol car, they usually run between the houses, jumping over the fences. If there are several police cars that corner them, they run towards Route 443. During big incidents we bring a helicopter."
To sum up the interview, the mynet reporter asked a question that one can't help but wonder after hearing the workers speak. "These people come to Israel in order to make a living. Are they really that dangerous?" he asked. "They come here to make a living, but at nights, when they get bored, some of them have been caught [performing] critical offenses," answered Superintendent Brina. When asked how the police treat the illegal workers, he simply said that they "treat every person as a human being. It doesn't matter who he is."
Via Lior Girzim Magen for mynet. Click here to view the original article.
Friday, October 15, 2010