Amsterdam-born man released from jail in citizenship row

Immigration authorities in the Netherlands say 19-year-old Daniel Buter will be released from a Rotterdam detention center for undocumented migrants on Friday. The Amsterdam-born teenager was threatened with deportation to the Dominican Republic, the home country of his birth parents but a nation which he himself had never visited.

The Dutch immigration service IND confirmed Buter’s impending release to broadcast news program Hart van Nederland. The decision was reached after a friend of Buter’s published a petition online that drew tens of thousands of signatures, and the attention of the country’s media outlets, Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema, and members of parliament.

The trouble began for Buter when he tried to apply for a passport at Amsterdam’s city hall, only to be told he was not a citizen of the country. The city referred Buter’s case to IND, who he refused to meet on the advice of an attorney. He was then picked up by authorities and taken to the detention facility in Rotterdam last month.

The young man was born to Dominican parents who held Dutch passports, according to his friend. He was abandoned by them when he was three years of age, and his grandmother Took over his care. When his parents renounced their Dutch citizenship, officials also stripped Buter’s of his Dutch nationality.

His family was never informed of the change in status, either before or after it happened, his friend said to the Parool.

Buter’s citizenship status was not disclosed on Friday. As of Wednesday he was facing a deportation hearing in February.

Nearly 30 thousand people had signed the petition calling for Buter's case to be reevaluated by 4 p.m. on Friday.