“Human rights groups petitioned the High Court of Justice on Monday to cancel a law that will require deducting 20 percent each month from asylum seekers’ salaries for a deposit they may reclaim once they leave the country.

The Knesset passed the law two months ago, and it is scheduled to take effect on May 1. It would require employers to deposit another 16 percent of the salary, while the state would be entitled to claim a substantial portion of the sum if the asylum seeker fails to meet a deadline for leaving the country.

The Kav Laoved NGO and Tel Aviv University’s Refugee Rights Clinic submitted the appeal in the names of six human-rights groups and seven asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan. The petition says the law is intended to force asylum seekers into worse poverty under the guise of promised social benefits.

“Instead of equal rights, this is bad discrimination in net wages, alongside a blow to property and the ability to live in dignity. Rather than defending social rights, this draconian penal mechanism erodes them,” reads the petition, submitted by attorneys Eldad Kahana, Anat Ben David and Michal Tager.”

Read the complete Haaretz article by Ilan Lior, “Rights Groups Ask Court to Scrap Deductions From Asylum Seekers’ Salaries”