Iraqi boy allowed to stay in Netherlands after all
Nine year old Iraqi boy Nemr will be allowed to stay in the Netherlands after all. He was granted a residency permit, his lawyer told ANP. She would not give further comment. Nemr's parents and younger brother will also be allowed to stay, NOS reports.
Nemr received national attention thanks to BNN presenter Tim Hofman's documentary Terug naar je eige land, or 'Back to your own country' in English. With the documentary, Hofman drew attention to the futures that await five child asylum seekers who were about to be deported, and called for a more relaxed children's pardon. He took Nemr to parliament, where they had a conversation with Klaas Dijkhoff. The VVD parliamentary leader's dismissive reactions to Nemr's fears of dying in Iraq drew quite a bit of criticism.
The documentary helped prompt a political uproar regarding the children's pardon, a pardon for child asylum seekers who lived in the Netherlands for a long time and have become rooted in Dutch society. The issue first led to a division in the coalition, and eventually to an expansion of the children's pardon.
But last month sources reported that Nemir did not qualify for the children's pardon and would still be deported to Iraq. The Dutch immigration and naturalization service IND then stressed that no decision had been made about Nemr and his family and that they will let the family know whether they can stay by April 1st.
The lawyer representing Nemr's family now told ANP that they are extremely grateful for all the support they received over the past months, and they would now prefer to be left in peace.
9-jarige Nemr uit Emmen mag toch in Nederland blijven: De 9-jarige Nemr uit Emmen mag toch in Nederland blijven. Dat maakte zijn advocaat vandaag bekend. Nemr werd door de documentaire 'Terug naar je eige land' van Tim Hoffman het gezicht van het… https://t.co/I63BKWCUkg pic.twitter.com/Fgc4M7yFGQ— drenthe (@drenthe) April 3, 2019