Labour party (PvdA) proposals to widen the scope of the amnesty for long-term refugees were greeted with astonishment by the party’s Christian Democrat coalition partner during Thursday’s debate on the deal.
The PvdA also wants to include asylum seekers who left Holland and claimed refugee status in another country before returning to the Netherlands.
‘A deal is a deal; that is what we should stick to,’ said CDA MP Van der Camp.
The amnesty for up to 30,000 refugees who arrived in the country before April 2001 forms part of the coalition’s agreement. People who have not spent the entire period in the Netherlands, who have serious criminal records, or who were involved with war crimes are not covered.
The anti-immigration PVV and the Liberals (VVD) both oppose the deal. The ruling is a ‘scandal’ because it is full of loose ends and a ‘blank cheque’ in terms of financing, VVD MP Halber Zijlstra warned during the debate.
An opinion poll by TNS Nipo on Thursday showed that 55% of VVD voters supported an amnesty.
Christian Democrat MPs also want guarantees that local councils will stop putting failed asylum seekers up in emergency accommodation, news agency ANP reports. At the moment, refugees who have lost their appeals are often evicted from refugee centres, forcing them onto the streets.
Junior justice minister Nebahat Albayrak has promised to link the amnesty with an effective deportation system.
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