75 mayors want children's asylum reform
A coalition of 75 mayors across most major political parties have signed a letter supporting the assertion of Children’s Ombudsman Marc Dullaert that too many kids are refused asylum in the Netherlands. Bunnik mayor Hans Martijn Ostendorp let the call to action, which was supported by mayors across the Netherlands. The letter is being sent to Fred Teeven, the State Secretary for Security and Justice (VVD).
Amongst those supporting Mayor Ostendorp are Mayors Abou Taleb (Rotterdam, PvdA), Jan van Zanen (Utrecht, VVD), Ruud Vreeman (Groningen, PvdA) and Hubert Bruls (Nijmegen, CDA). Those who have not yet co-signed the letter include Eberhard van der Laan, the PvdA mayor from Amsterdam, and Mayor Jozias van Aartsen (Den Haag, VVD). The full list of mayors is being updated frequently. “This is about families with children for whom the [child asylum request] was rejected,” many of whom were supervised by municipalities instead of the national government, as the asylum rules require. The letter goes on to say that the mayors support kids sent to the Netherlands as “unaccompanied minors that met all of the requirements of the [children’s asylum criteria], but are now older than 21 years.” Dullaert called the rules for granting asylum to children "idiotic", particularly that the national government does not recognize the municipalities' ability to supervise children living in their jurisdiction.