Christian Democrats divided over Angolan boy

27th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Christian Democrat CDA MPs will meet this afternoon to discuss their position in the case of Mauro Manuel ahead of a parliamentary debate. Yesterday, Asylum and Immigration Minister Gerd Leers decided against granting the former unaccompanied underage asylum seeker AMA, who has been in the country for eight years, a residence permit.

The CDA MPs are divided on the issue. At the end of the summer, the parliamentary party supported opposition calls for the case to be reviewed. But yesterday MP Raymond Knops expressed his support for the minister’s decision. While MP Kathleen Ferrier said she wanted a meeting before the debate and fellow dissident Ad Koppejan said he could not imagine the party agreeing to send the young man back to Angola.

Meanwhile CDA party members are preparing a motion for a party conference on Saturday to stop the deportation of young asylum seekers. When so-called AMAs turn 18, they are no longer protected by asylum law and can be set back to their country of origin. However, the minister has discretionary powers to allow for exceptions, if there is no adequate support for the young people in their country of origin. Former AMAs often end up remaining in the Netherlands illegally as they do not have the proper papers to be repatriated.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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