Minister gets tough on failed asylum seekers
Failed asylum seekers are to face tougher measures to encourage them to return to their original country. In a letter to parliament, Immigration Minister Gerd Leers revealed the plans, in which he described the change as moving from 'pressure to force'.
Failed asylum seekers will be given a maximum of 28 days to return to their countries, if they fail to do so they will be banned from entering any European Union country, fined and could even be jailed. Illegal immigrants will be required to return immediately.
To make it easier to send people back to their countries their passports or indentity papers will be confiscated during the asylum procedure. According to the minister these documents often go missing when failed asylum seekers are due to return to their home countries. They may also be required to pay for the costs of repatriation.
Families with young children will also be put under more pressure to leave the Netherlands. Housing will be more spartan. The minister is also looking into holding families at locations where they have limited freedom, although he does not want to put them in detention centres.
The democrats D66 think the measures go too far. D66 MP Gerard Schouw called forcing failed asylum seekers to pay for their own repatriation nonsensical and practically unfeesable. The conservative VVD is curious to see the effect of the plans.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide