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Amsterdam mayor intervenes in refugee tent dispute

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan has identified 10 local authorities which are prepared to provide accommodation to failed asylum seekers, putting him on a collision course with the government, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Junior justice minister Fred Teeven has offered the would-be refugees a place to live for 30 days if they agree to work towards their eventual deportation.

Dozens are living in make-shift camps in Amsterdam and The Hague among other places because they are no longer entitled to care from the Dutch state, having failed to win refugee status.

Basic care

Van der Laan has refused to say which councils have agreed to house the failed asylum seekers. ‘The mayors have given their agreement but the executive boards still have to agree,’ a spokesman told the paper. In total, places have been found for a maximum 88 people in homeless shelters for a 30-day period.

The aim is to allow people to take stock and recover, and consult lawyers and refugee organisations about next steps, Van der Laan said in a letter to their legal representatives. ‘It is a basic bed, bath and bread construction.’

The refugees argue they cannot return to their homelands because they have no documents, it is not safe or they face detention and torture. Most of the camp protestors come from Somalia and other places in Africa, as well as Iraq and Iran.

Is Van der Laan right to intervene? Use the comment box below to share your thoughts.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

The authorities must deport failed asylum seekers as a matter of priority - literally the next plane out of here. Once you are denied asylum, you should find yourself back in your native land within 24 hours.

By A Nonny Mouse | 21 November 2012 9:23 AM

It's nice to hear that someone in government has compassion for the less fortunate.

By Roger | 21 November 2012 12:07 PM

Can't we just keep these 88 people? There are always public parks needing trash collected and similar work. As an American practically all of America is made up of refugees. Every human has something to contribute to society if we look deeply enough and nurture the potential.

By Susan Helene Kramer | 21 November 2012 3:10 PM

Thank you, Susan. This is totally in the spirit of Thanksgiving and one of the ideals that makes me proud to be an American.

By The Hague chick | 22 November 2012 2:38 PM

This is only for a show.
It's all BS.

By Chon | 22 November 2012 6:47 PM

@Susan Helene Kramer: the problem is that immigrantion laws shouldn't be dispensed on a case-by-case basis. What about people who lawfully try to come to Netherlands, get rejected but don't game the system? What about people who wait years to get refugee permit?

It is not fair to rewards those who break rules. Which doesn't mean they are worthless or that they are useless as human beings, just that their place to live and give life a shot is not the Netherlands.

By Andre L. | 23 November 2012 6:11 AM

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