Parliament approves amnesty arrangement
8 June 2007
ROTTERDAM State secretary Nebahat Albayrak managed to push the amnesty arrangement for “old” asylum seekers through Parliament without too much difficulty. A substantial majority of coalition parties and left-wing parties in the opposition supported the plan as proposed by Albayrak.
The amnesty will affect an estimated 25 to 30 thousand asylum seekers who entered the Netherlands before 1 April 2001 and have been living here since. The new measure should put a definitive end to the discussion that has been dragging on for years about asylum seekers who have exhausted the procedure but who have continued to live in the country.
The Labour PvdA faction initially asked that two further groups be included in the amnesty: asylum seekers who are themselves not eligible but who are in “permanent relationships” with others who are (without being married or registered partners), and people who had applied for asylum in the Netherlands, moved elsewhere, and were later returned to the Netherlands by the authorities.
The PvdA dropped its plans to submit motions to include these groups after consultation among the coalition parties (Labour PvdA, Christian democrat CDA, and ChristenUnie) behind closed doors.
Albayrak managed to convince the PvdA faction that including this first group those in “permanent relationships” would open up the measure to fraud.
She also indicated there were legal obstacles to including the second group also referred to as “Dublin claimants” and promised to send Parliament a letter explaining these in detail. In addition she said a “decision on principle” had been made not to include this second group, since they had opted to “shop around” rather than stay in the Netherlands.
Parliament was satisfied with these responses from the state secretary and subsequently approved the amnesty plan as proposed by the cabinet.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news
Parliament debates amnesty
Albayrak disinclined to extend amnesty