Cooperative asylum seekers to get shelter, others remain homeless

Vluchtgarage protesters at IND
Asylum seekers protest in front of the IND immigration office in Amsterdam. April 15, 2015 (photo: Wij Zijn Hier / Facebook)Asylum seekers protest in front of the IND immigration office in Amsterdam. April 15, 2015 (photo: Wij Zijn Hier / Facebook)

The left-wing PvdA and right-wing VVD are near a deal on undocumented asylum seekers trying to remain in the Netherlands. The two parties form the ruling coalition, and are expected to finalize an agreement as early as Wednesday night.

A new proposal would provide nighttime shelter, food and showers in each of the five largest cities -Amsterdam, Eindhoven, the Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht- and also Ter Apel, the Volkskrant is reporting based on anonymous sources. A planned 75 million euro asylum center is expected to open next year in Ter Apel, it was announced in November 2014.

The government will scrap all other facilities, under terms of the deal. Undocumented immigrants can stay overnight in a shelter for a limited period of weeks, and only if they cooperate when the Netherlands decides to send them back to their country of origin.

More time is also allotted to those who cannot return to their country of origin for a variety of reasons. People suffering from illness are also given extra provision, reports the Parool. To this end, municipalities will have a greater voice in the process. Cities will also be responsible for maintaining public order at the facilities.

Officials will put any paperless immigrants deemed uncooperative back on the street.

After nine days of discussions, the deal was made at the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday by VVD members Prime Minister Mark Rutte and party leader Halbe Zijlstra, and Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher and party leader Diederik Samsom from the PvdA.

Terms of the deal include concessions from both sides, with the PvdA pushing for a humanitarian solution for thousands refused refugee status, and the VVD wanting a tight policy that harshly deals with undocumented immigrants.

Justice Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff is reportedly writing a letter to parliament informing politicians of the agreement.