Justice Sec.: Keep "irritating" asylum seekers home during New Year's

Asylum seekers
Asylum seekers

State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice wants to keep problem causing asylum seekers under "house arrest" over New Year's, he said on radio program Dit is de Dag on Monday.

"This is specifically involves people we know are irritating in each municipality. These are people with a criminal record or who the police often have to send away or cause inconvenience", Dijkhoff said. According to him, putting them under house arrest is possible, because local authorities have files about troublemakers. 

Dijkhoff stressed that he is not putting measures in place, only giving mayors the option to do so. 

Earlier this year Dijkhoff scrapped the so-called departure bonus for asylum seekers from Morocco and Algeria, which are considered safe countries. These asylum seekers have little chance of getting refugee status in the Netherlands and despair about their situation often cause them to act out and cause problems in asylum centers. Scrapping the departure bonus - paid out to failed asylum seekers who cooperate in returning to their own country - is intended to make the Netherlands less appealing to these asylum seekers. Dijkhoff also worked on sending these "safe" asylum seekers back home more quickly.

According to him, a total of 22,880 foreigners who were not allowed to stay in the Netherlands, were sent away this year. Just over half left the country under supervision, 47 percent left voluntarily. Among them were 890 Moroccans and 460 Algerians.