Asylum minister: expulsion Mauro unavoidable

28th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The expulsion of 18-year-old Angolan asylum seeker Mauro Manuel cannot be avoided, says Christian Democrat Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers on the eve of a CDA party conference, where a majority is expected to vote against his repatriation.

“If the issue ends up dividing the parliamentary party, there is nothing I can do about it. I must evaluate the case on the basis of the existing legislation and rules, just as my predecessors have—whatever the conference says. They cannot force their views on me.”

Many party members want Mauro Manuel to be given a residence permit on compassionate grounds, while most CDA MPs have so far sided with the minister.

The matter doesn’t leave him unmoved, the minister stressed after Friday’s weekly cabinet meeting. “The case is highly emotional, I agree. I share those emotions. That makes it difficult to keep up a poker face but the integrity of the policy has to be protected.”

Mr Manuel came to the Netherlands as an unaccompanied asylum seeker when he was 10, and grew up with a Dutch foster family.

On Thursday, a CDA compromise motion, which would have allowed him to stay for another four years on a temporary student visa, suffered a surprise defeat. The conservative VVD, the senior partner in the minority coalition, and the Freedom Party PVV, which is supporting it, voted against the compromise.

Opposition parties want the young man to be allowed to stay in the Netherlands. They have now put forward a motion for him to be given a residence permit.

A vote on this and other motions is due to be held on Tuesday.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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