Mayor calls for refugee centre troublemakers to be deported


The mayor of the Limburg town of Weert has called on the government to take action to deport a group of failed asylum seekers who are continually causing trouble in the local refugee centre.

Jos Heijmans told local broadcaster 1Limburg that the group is made up of young economic refugees from safe north African countries such as Morocco who are all scheduled to be sent back.

Other refugees in the centre no longer feel safe because of the fighting, drug abuse and theft, Heijmans said.

Police were called to the centre on Monday evening after what 1Limburg says was ‘an explosion of violence’ surrounding the arrest of one resident suspected of shop-lifting.

Heijmans is holding talks with the police and justice ministry officials on Wednesday to try to solve the problem. ‘We have to end this as soon as possible,’ he said. ‘This group need to be put out of the country as soon as possible.’

Syrian family

18 months ago, officials from The Hague promised to tackle problems with a specific group of refugees in Weert but ‘nothing happened’, Heijmans said. ‘They are probably busy in The Hague, but we are being left with the problem.’

Last year, Heijmans hit the headlines after he imposed ‘house arrest’ on a group of 26 failed north African asylum seekers who were causing problems in the town, to stop them going out during the New Year celebrations.

In 2016, he came under fire for helping a young Syrian woman and her four children go into hiding when she was threatened with deportation.

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