Expatica news

Mayors reluctant to expel illegals

17 July 2007

BRUSSELS – Many Flemish mayors are dragging their feet in implementing the expulsion policy for asylum seekers who have exhausted the procedure. “I find it inhumane to force families with children who are well integrated to leave the country,” says Luc Martens (Flemish Christian Democrat CD&V), mayor of Roeselare.

The expulsion policy has put on the back burner in many Flemish cities. Green party mayors Ingrid Pira in Mortsel and Willy Minnebo in Zwijndrecht are simply not following the order to expel illegal aliens. Minnebo makes a point of the fact that he has not subjected a single foreigner to the expulsion policy in his 13 years as mayor. “Everyone has the right to a better life,” is his motto.

Such acts of mayoral disobedience were praised by Flemish minister for Culture and Sport Bert Anciaux (Spirit) on Monday. On his weblog he called on all Flemish mayors to refrain from signing expulsion orders from now on.

According to the procedure, the Immigration department requests the civil registry department of the municipality to notify the alien in question that he must leave the country. In principle the local government is expected to follow up to ensure that the individual is no longer staying illegally.

A telephone survey of ten Flemish mayors however indicates that most are not happy with this policy.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news