Immigration minister to appeal against Afghan girl’s right to stay

Immigration minister Gerd Leers is to appeal against a court ruling giving a 14-year-old Afghan girl and her family the right to stay in the Netherlands.

The minister said the court had not properly considered the role of the family in its 10-year campaign to stay in the country as refugees. And as this has fundamental implications for asylum policy, it needed to be looked at again by the courts, he said.
‘While I am also aware of Sahar’s individual circumstances, as minister for immigration and asylum I am responsible for upholding the refugee system,’ Leers said in a note to MPs.
‘While I want to take the greatest of care with regard to Sahar, I must also be careful in my policy towards other Afghan girls in the same situation.’
The minister has also asked the foreign ministry to prepare a report on the situation in Afghanistan for young girls who go to school. Sahar is in the pre-university stream.

Turned down

The girl has lived in the Netherlands since she was four. The family has been turned down for asylum three times.
Last week, a court said Leer’s decision to deport the family was not properly motivated. The teenager is completely westernised and there is no guarantee that the local forces of law and order will be able to protect her, the judges said.
Earlier this month, it emerged that the United Nations refugee organisation believes she should be given refugee status.

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