This year some 22,880 foreign nationals have been ordered to leave the Netherlands, of whom 47% have gone under their own steam, junior immigration minister Klaas Dijkhoff told radio show Dit is de Dag on Monday evening.
The rest left the country under supervision, Dijkhoff said, adding that he could not prove that the thousands who were told to go have actually left the country. ‘But it would not be logical to assume that they are all still here,’ the minister said.
The group includes failed asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and people who have lost the right to live in the Netherlands. Of the foreign nationals who the minister says have left, 13% came from Albania, 6% from Iraq and 5% Serbia and Syria.
At the moment, refugees who fail in their applications for asylum are evicted from refugee centres and expected to return home. Thousands have ended up living rough or in emergency accommodation run by churches and other charities.
Refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk estimates some 5,000 would-be refugees are put on the street every year.
Dijkhoff also told the programme he is looking at measures to put ‘very irritating’ asylum seekers under house arrest on December 31, to stop them disturbing the New Year celebrations.
‘These are people who have a criminal record or people who are known to the police as troublemakers,’ he said, adding that he is ‘sharpening his own instruments’ to make this possible.
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