A special task force set up by the immigration service to work away the backlog of asylum applications is not doing its job, with incomplete files, cancelled appointments and difficult phone contact among the list of complaints, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday.
Immigration lawyers have told the paper that the task force – 180 IND staff, 40 people from the deportation service and 200 people employed via staffing agencies – is too inexperienced to solve the problems at the service.
The task force has been charged with dealing with 14,000 cases by the end of the year, following mounting political concern about the lengthy asylum procedures. So far, it has dealt with 3,000 cases.
Lawyers told the VK that even solid cases for asylum, from people from Syria and Jemen are not being finalised within the required two week period.
There have been several demonstrations at refugee centres in recent weeks about the lack of clarity about procedures. Some asylum seekers have contacted DutchNews.nl, complaining that people arriving after them are having their cases dealt with more quickly which, they say, is leaving them ‘upset, disappointed and frustrated’.
The task force focuses on people who arrived in the Netherlands before April 1 while new arrivals fall under the regular procedures, and this is likely to mean their cases will be examined earlier.
Asylum seekers have been paid millions of euros in compensation in the past few years because their cases are taking too long to deal with. The compensation scheme has since been scrapped.
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