Justice Sec.: Deporting asylum seekers should be easier

Klaas Dijkhoff (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/VVD.nl). (Klaas Dijkhoff (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/VVD.nl))

Asylum seekers who commit a crime may soon face a tougher approach from Dutch authorities. State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice wants to decrease the severity of sentences that result in a refugee's asylum request being denied or residency permit being revoked.

The State Secretary wrote this in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, on Tuesday, Het Parool reports.

Currently a refugee's residency permit can be revoked if he is sentenced to 18 months in prison for a serious crime such as purse snatching, assault or small-scale drug trafficking. Dijkhoff wants to reduce that to a 6 month prison sentence for a serious crime. This also affects refugees whose asylum application is still in progress.

For "special' serious crimes, such as trafficking in child pornography, aggravated assault and prolonged drug trafficking, the minimum sentence before a refugee can be sent on his way is currently 24 months. The State Secretary wants to reduce this to a minimum of 10 months in prison sentence.

The extent to which a refugee will be in danger if he is deported will still be taken into account with these measures.