Netherlands confirms controversial expulsion of Angolan teen
Dutch authorities Friday confirmed the expulsion of a young Angolan asylum-seeker after he lost an eight-year battle to remain in the Netherlands, despite heavy criticism by opposition parties.
"The minister said he saw no grounds for Mauro Manuel to get asylum in the Netherlands," said Immigration and Asylum Ministry spokeswoman Elaine de Boer.
"He will not use his discretion to make an exception in this case," she told AFP after a heated debate Thursday in the Dutch Lower House of Parliament over the 18-year-old's future.
Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers on Wednesday ruled in favour of Manuel's return to the southwestern African country after living in the Netherlands for the last eight years with a Dutch family, who despite two attemps, failed to adopt him.
Manuel, who speaks fluent Dutch and lives with his "parents" in the southern city of Eindhoven, arrived alone in the Netherlands after being put onboard a flight from Angola by his biological mother, Dutch daily newspaper Trouw reported.
His case has been making headlines in the local media which has hailed him as an example of some 75 other children in a similar situations.
It has also drawn heated debate in the Dutch Lower House of Parliament this week, where opposition parties accused Leers, whose Christian Democratic Action (CDA) rules in coalition with Prime Minister Mark Rutte's party, of being unjust in not allowing Manuel to stay.
"He built up a life in the Netherlands. Isn't it heartless that he now gets expelled?" Sharon Gesthuizen of the Socialist Party was quoted as saying on Dutch public broadcaster NOS's website.
"Mauro does not have to be expelled. An exception can be made," added the Dutch Labour Party's (PvdA) Hans Spekman.
Leers' decision however was supported by the ruling coalition and its ally, the right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV).
Immigration spokeswoman De Boer said Manuel could apply, from Angola, for a student visa.
© 2011 AFP