Yesterday, the Tel Aviv District Court made a welcome, unprecedented ruling on a case I brought forward on behalf of a couple in a unique predicament; the District Court Judge granted Goya, a Sudanese asylum seeker and partner of Israeli citizen Yael, the ability to move forward with his request for permanent status in Israel in spite of his inability to provide legal documents from Sudan, which he was forced to flee for his safety.
Requiring Goya to provide legal documents from war-torn Sudan to be considered for permanent status as the partner of an Israeli national is a wild goose chase, to say the least. On the other hand, attaining refugee status is just as out of reach, as only one Sudanese asylum seeker out of thousands has been granted refugee status in Israel over the years.
It seemed that the odds were stacked against Goya, but yesterday's common sense ruling is a game changer.
The District Court Judge claimed that it was clear, through tests conducted by the Population and Immigration Authority, that Goya and Yael's relationship was authentic, and that in this unique situation in which the necessary paperwork cannot be provided, the right to family life trumps the current bureaucratic regulations.
Judge Agmon-Gonen conveyed that in the modern age, immigration law must be adapted alongside family law, and sent the message to the Israeli authorities that the courts will not stand for imposing impossible demands on such matters.
This ruling is a beacon of light in contrast to the darkness of the Israeli government's treatment of children born here to migrants and of all those who have fled their homes for fear of their lives. We hope this judgement will affect rulings to come and the policies of the Population and Immigration Authority for the better.
I could not have represented Goya and Yael in this case without your continued support.
I thank you for continuing to stand with us in our fight for human rights for all.
Attorney Oded Feller
Director, Legal Department
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)