Minister fights for tough Dutch immigration policy

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Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers is embroiled in two legal battles over the repatriation of asylum seekers from the Netherlands.

He is appealing against a Dutch court ruling that families of failed asylum seekers must be given accommodation until they leave the country.

He has assured MPs that no families will be made to leave their homes before the appeals court has delivered its decision on the issue. He had already announced that, in future, special accommodation will be made available to families which have to leave the Netherlands. They will be allowed to stay in the premises while they organise their repatriation.

Refugee Meanwhile, the UNHCR refugee organisation is urging the minister to recognise the refugee status of a 14-year-old girl from Afghanistan.

She and her family are threatened with repatriation if their appeal is disallowed by a court in Den Bosch. The UNHCR says that the girl, after living in the Netherlands for 10 years, has become too Westernised to be returned to Afghanistan.



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