Immigration service needs immediate expansion on refugee crisis

Asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vito Manzari). (Asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean sea (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vito Manzari))

The Immigration and Naturalization Service should be strengthened and expanded in order to be able to deal with the ever increasing number of refugees arriving in the Netherlands. 

Former Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin pleaded for this on television program Buitenhof on Sunday, NU reports.

Security and Justice State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff previously stated that the Service will not be expanded for the time being. But Hirsch thinks this is very necessary, stating that Dijkhoff's recent letter to asylum seekers is the reason for his call.

In the letter the State Secretary explained will have to wait half a year before the asylum procedure starts, and then it can be another six months before a decision is made on whether or not asylum will be granted. Dijkhoff also explained the austere receptions, where refugees may have to stay in tents and converted office buildings, due to a lack of space.

Hirsch Ballin rejects this course of action. "They are told that for half a year they can count on nothing, except locations that possibly include tents or halls, and that after that half year, a long process begins and only then bringing their family members over is on the agenda", he said. "If you read State Secretary Dijkhoff's letter, then you should ask yourself: can it be any more austere?"

The former minister is therefore calling for the Immigration and Naturalization Service to be expanded, so that refugees at least do not have to wait so long for the asylum procedure to start.