Minister to review case of underage Angolan asylum seeker

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Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers has agreed to review the case of Angolan Mauro Manuel. Last week, the minister said the 18-year-old would not be granted a residence permit. But MPs found Mauro’s case deserving enough to allow him to stay.

Manuel came to the Netherlands eight years ago at the age of 10 as an unaccompanied asylum seeker. Minister Leers says that sending Mauro back to Angola has been the main perspective for the young man since his first application for asylum.

MPs think Mauro’s future is in the Netherlands, even the minister’s own party, the Christian Democrats, want Mauro to stay. In the case of 14-year-old Afghan girl Sahar Hibrahim Ghel, only the opposition parties were in favour of allowing her and her family to stay on the grounds she had become too Westernised. She was eventually granted a residence permit.

Minister Leers says he will look into the possibilities and limitations of Mauro’s case. He will also take into account what affect any decision will have on other similar cases. “We have a system, but it should not destroy humanity."

The minister said he will do his best, without wanting to raise false hope. He will also take Mauro’s attachment to his foster family into account in his deliberations.

Public broadcasting station NOS reports, according to its sources, the minister has offered Mauro a visa to study. That would mean the minister allows the young man to stay, without granting him a residence permit.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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