Opposition parties lash out at asylum deal
The coalition has, after 9 days of crisis meetings, finally reached a compromise on what to do with failed asylum seekers that both parties can live with. But this "good compromise" is getting much criticism from the opposition, with some parties going so far to say that it does not solve anything.
Failed asylum seekers that cooperate with the process of sending them back to their home country will be given bed, bath and bread in one of six municipalities - Amsterdam, Eindhoven, the Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht and Ter Apel. This satisfies the PvdA's humanitarian needs. But they will only be given this for a limited amount of time, and if they do not cooperate, they will be put out on the streets. This works with the VVD's demands for a stricter policy on failed asylum seekers.
Concessions were made by both of the coalition parties and they are calling it a good compromise. But the compromise still has a lot of loose ends. Like how long exactly will the "cooperative asylum seekers" be allowed to stay in the six asylum centers? And how does the fact that uncooperative asylum seekers being put back on the street really solve any of the problems the Netherlands is facing?
Both PvdA leader Diederik Samsom and VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra told NU that the amount of time the asylum seekers will be allowed to stay in the centers will be discussed with the municipalities. "Let's now leave that to the managers who have much more experience in that. I have spoken extensively with (Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed, ed) Aboutaleb and he says that it sometimes happens in two weeks, sometimes it takes a little longer." Samsom said to the newspaper.
The compromise is receiving much criticism from opposition parties. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold called it a "crazy compromise". "Refugees should suddenly know within a few weeks where they can go? That has failed for years," Pechtold said to NOS. The D66 finds it incomprehensible that the coalition has been working this plan for more than a week. "This is really something in a kind of tube, the Torentje, fabricated without taking reality into account."
SP leader Emile Roemer points out that this will only land the municipalities in trouble. "No mayor is happy with this. You have problems and then you should find a humane solution. Now they will receive some form of shelter and then you throw them back on the street. That's nothing." he said.
PVV leader Geert Wilders tweeted: "The VVD is rewarding illegals with extra shelter". "Illegal immigrants who do not hold to their departure order now get offered shelter at the expense of the taxpayer. That's the world upside down. The week knees of the VVD causes a relaxation of the immigration policy and brings the Netherlands even closer to the abyss." was the statement he released with the tweet.
The main issue seems to be that failed asylum seekers who do not want to return to their country of origin will still end up on the street. Zijlstra told NU that that is not a problem "In the sense of no one in this country has to sleep on the streets. It is a choice made by the people themselves. Everyone who cooperates with their departure will be completely sheltered. And we will not reward people who refuse to comply with court orders and thus hope they can still get an asylum permit. We must not reward that sort of bad behavior." he said. "It is essential for us that these people do not get long-term care."