A ministerial committee approved legislation Sunday that would impose harsh penalties on anybody who employs illegal migrants.
The green light by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation means the bill will now go on to the Knesset for a full vote.
Under the terms of the new bill, a five year jail term or a fine of NIS 500,000 will be imposed on anyone who employs illegal migrants, provides them accommodation or drives them from place to place. Previously, the maximum imprisonment period for employing undocumented migrants was two years.
Likud MK Ofir Akunis, who proposed the bill, said that the law will curb the main incentive for African migrants to come to Israel, finding work.
The precise import of the law was subject to discussion as it was criticized for lumping together infiltrators who might pose a security risk with asylum seekers and foreign workers living in Israel for years.