An increasing number of city councils are refusing to cooperate with the government’s new quota for deporting illegal immigrants, the Telegraaf reported at the weekend.
Justice ministry policy states 4,800 illegal immigrants should be deported this year, a 10% increase on 2011 – before formal quotas were introduced.
But mayors from 17 cities told television show Nieuwsuur they are unhappy with the idea of a deportation quota.
‘Ministers were worried about police quotas for fining cyclists with broken lights,’ Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan pointed out. ‘So how can you propose introducing a quota for such a sensitive subject?’.
Almere mayor Annemarie Jorritsma said the plan is ‘unnecessary and undesirable’ while Groningen’s Peter Rehwinkel said it is ‘wrong’. The mayors’ criticism follows concerns from refugee groups, police unions and politicians last week.
Leers and justice minister Ivo Opstelten said last Monday they want the police to play a more active role in identifying illegal immigrants.
‘We are going to help them do this and provide them with the tools so they can see much more quickly if someone is illegal or not,’ Leers said.