Expatica news

Minister to explain asylum seekers expulsions

10 December 2003

AMSTERDAM — Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk has been called to appear before the Dutch parliament to explain how the expulsion of unsuccessful asylum applicants is being carried out.

Socialist Party MP Jan de Wit demanded that the minister attend an emergency debate on Thursday to answer questions about the outcome of a pardon introduced for a limited number of long-term asylum seekers.

Before the end of December 2003, Verdonk’s department is due to notify applicants if they have been successful and will receive a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands.

The pardon procedure was introduced to clear the backlog of refugees who applied for asylum five years ago or longer and are still waiting for a decision.

Verdonk has already indicated that only a limited number of the thousands of pardon applicants meet the criteria.

Some of these asylum seekers have been in the country much longer than five years and their children have subsequently grown up Dutch. Some of the children do not even speak the language of their land of origin.

The thousands of asylum seekers, turned down for the pardon, face being evicted from special holding centres and housing provided by local councils. Many also face expulsion from the Netherlands.

De Wit has called on the minister not to take any decision on the future of asylum seekers who are refused the pardon until Parliament has an opportunity to debate the issue in full.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news + asylum seekers