Nearly €870m spent on asylum seekers last year; "Madness!" says Wilders

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 Netherlands earmarked spent 868 million euros on services for roughly 24,000 asylum seekers last year, according to figures Security & Justice Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff provided to anti-Islam party PVV. The party leader, Geert Wilders, blasted the amount, saying it translates to roughly 36 thousand euros per asylum seeker.

"Madness!" Wilders proclaimed on Twitter, in a call to shut Dutch borders.

The government spent 485 million euros on the COA, the Dutch agency responsible for the reception and placement of refugees. Another 200 million went to the Immigration and Naturalization Office, which all immigrants entering and residing in the Netherlands are required to contact. Over 70 million went to the Repatriation and Departure Service, which also handles the extradition of criminals to other nations.

It was not immediately clear if the amounts provided to those agencies is only for their work directly related to asylum seekers, or if it is broader budget data.

Also, while some 56 million went to investigative and research services, about 26 million was earmarked for free legal representation of asylum seekers.

Dutch NGO Nidos also received 24 million euros to provide education, welfare and guardianship services to youth refugees. Another NGO, Vluchtelingenwerk, received 6.3 million euros to help with integration, reunification, and asylum service. Other organizations received 700 thousand euros.

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