Weert mayor admits to hiding asylum seekers

Syrian asylum seekers (Photo: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)Syrian asylum seekers (Photo: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)

Mayor Jos Heijmans of Weert admitted to helping a Syrian family hide from their deportation during a public commission meeting this week, 1Limburg reports.

The family, consisting of a mother and four children, were set to be deported to Germany, where the mother first applied for asylum. Her brother is allowed to stay in the Netherlands as this is where he submitted his first application. According to the mayor, separating the family would be "dramatic" for the children as the brother serves as a father figure for them.

After legal attempts to keep the family in the country failed, the mayor took matters into his own hands and helped them hide. He hopes that in the time he bought by doing so, a legal way to keep the family in the Netherlands can be found.

The Dutch Association of Mayors does not approve of Heijmans actions, saying that he placed himself "above the law", according to Limburg media. It is unclear whether any legal steps will be taken against Heijmans.