Belgium to clamp down bogus families
Belgium's Asylum Secretary Theo Francken has drawn up a seven point programme to combat bogus relationships.
The Asylum Secretary wants to tackle the problem of illegals that produce paperwork showing that they are related to Belgians, when these relationships are not based on reality.
The Asylum Secretary has plans to outlaw the practice of bogus recognitions when people abroad are acknowledged as children with a view to obtaining residence rights when they are not at all related.
Mr Francken's spokeswoman: "First we had bogus marriages. We clamped down on them. Then we had bogus cohabitation. Now it's bogus recognitions."
Pregnant women have been known to get somebody who is not the father of their child to recognise it in order to obtain a residence permit. Sometimes people are paid. Sometimes people are duped.
Prosecutors can ask for child recognitions to be quashed, but under the present law there's no way of punishing the fraudsters. The Asylum Secretary is now drawing up legislation to outlaw the practice.
Mr Francken has announced a number of further changes. Checks on bogus marriages can be carried out for up to five years after the marriage. The Asylum Secretary is also examining whether a special document can be required to show that there are no impediments to people marrying when they do so abroad.
Mr Francken also hopes to close a loophole that allows EU citizens who marry in another EU state to do so under EU family reunification regulations that are more lenient than national rules.
The Asylum Secretary wants to clamp down on identity fraud, to get more civil servants to consult the register on bogus marriages and tackle the issue of bogus adoptions.