Christian Democrats call for ‘more humane’ refugee policy

Dozens of local Christian Democrat branch organisations have called on immigration minister Gerd Leers to establish a more humane policy for asylum seekers, Trouw reports on Monday.

In particular, automatic residency for the children of asylum seekers who were born and grew up in the Netherlands would be a good starting point, the 81 local party chiefs said in their letter.
They have also written to the 21 CDA parliamentarians urging them to support draft legislation which would give refugee children who have lived in the Netherlands for at least eight years the right to stay.
Leers is against the bill, which was drawn up by Labour and the small religious party ChristenUnie, but it is unclear what MPs think, the paper says.
In particular, their positions may have changed since the collapse of the alliance between the CDA, VVD and PVV. Many CDA MPs and supporters were unhappy at the tough line they had been told to take in order to meet agreements with the anti-immigration party.
However, Sybrand van Haersma Buma, one of six CDA members involved in the current leadership election, told BNR radio on Monday he opposes the draft legislation. ‘Instead we should take the background in individual cases more into account and react more quickly,’ he said.
Last year, CDA MPs voted against giving a residency permit to an 18-year-old Angolan youth, Mauro Manuel, who has lived in the Netherlands with the same foster family for nine years but faced deportation.
The teenager was later given a student visa.

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