Thousands more refugees than forecast are likely to come to the Netherlands in the coming years, and the total could top 76,000 this year, public broadcaster NOS has reported, citing confidential government sources.
The latest official government prognosis says almost 51,000 people will seek sanctuary in the Netherlands this year, including Ukrainian nationals who do not fall under refugee regulations.
The new figures have been with the justice ministry for a while but no-one wants to discuss them in a formal capacity,’ NOS reporter Jorn Jonker said. ‘The issue should have been on the agenda for last week’s cabinet meeting but did not make it.’
The NOS figure has not been confirmed by ministers.
The refugee resettlement agency COA has said it needs more than 75,000 beds by the end of the year, but this does not take the potential increase in new arrivals into account. The IND immigration service is already struggling to deal with asylum requests and processed 30,000 last year.
The cabinet is divided on how to tackle the refugee crisis, with the VVD and CDA both calling for new measures to reduce numbers. But efforts to ensure refugees are spread fairly all over the country are floundering on local opposition.
Broadcaster RTL reported last September that a large majority of Dutch local authorities have not provided any long-term accommodation for refugees over the past 10 years.
Meanwhile, national statistics agency CBS reported on Thursday that refugees who are given residency permits are more likely to find work than they were several years ago.
Some 20% of those given a residency permit in 2019 had a job 2.5 years later but only 11% of refugees granted permits in 2014 had work after 30 months.
In total, some 45% of refugees have a job after five years, the CBS said.
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