Asylum seeker expulsions halted in 39 percent of cases

Tri Pham and two friends (Photo: Tri Moet Blijven/Facebook)Tri Pham and two friends (Photo: Tri Moet Blijven/Facebook)

Nearly 40 percent of failed asylum seeker deportations were cancelled at the last moment last year - a 10 percent increase compared to 2013, NRC reports based on figures received from the Ministry of Security and Justice.

Last year 1,225 of 3,165 booked plane tickets were unused because a deportation did not go through - 39 percent of the cases.

According to a spokesperson for the Ministry, there are numerous reasons for the increase in cancelled deportations. The increase can partly be blamed on more stringent European rules - from 2013 some groups of asylum seekers were deported from an asylum center instead of a detention center, which means they had the opportunity drop below the radar.

There were also administrative errors. Or the Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force working as a branch of the military, did not get the failed asylum seeker to the airport on time due to a traffic jam. In some cases municipalities managed to stop deportation with a court order or managed to convince the Ministry to change its mind. Recent cases of this happening includes Vietnamese teen Tri Pham and 21 year old Zimbabwean Kuda Matungamire.

The Ministry spokesperson told NRC that most asylum seekers who missed their deportation do eventually leave the Netherlands, but could not give actual numbers.