Dutchman deported from Canada taken in by Salvation Army, cousin

Schiphol
Schiphol Amsterdam Airport in 2006. photo: Shirley de Jong / Wikimedia

Dutch man Len van Heest, who was deported form Canada on Monday after living there all 59 years of his life, arrived at Schiphol around 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. He was met by the Salvation Army and a cousin, who will help him find his way in the Netherlands, AD reports.

The 59-year-old Van Heest moved to Canada with his mother when he was 8 months old, but he never got Canadian nationality. He was deported based on a Canadian law that was updated in 2013 to state that immigrants who spent more than 6 months in jail can be ordered to leave the country. Van Heest in his youth for weapon possession, threats and assault.

His cousin, who asked to remain anonymous, called meeting Van Heest a special, but strange experience. "I met him for the first time today. For him it is still quite unreal", she said to AD. "I think he liked it that I was there today. Our meeting was not so much emotional, because we have never seen each other in those 59 years. We mainly talked about the business side: where he's going to sleep for example."

For the first couple of days, Van Heest will stay with the Salvation Army while a more permanent arrangement is made. 

 

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