Dutch gov't created, maintains crisis in asylum shelter: advisers
The major problem in asylum reception is “a crisis that the State itself creates and maintains.” The Council for Public Administration (ROB) and the Advisory Committee on Immigration Affairs (ACVZ) said this in a recommendation to the Cabinet. They advised the government to oblige municipalities to take in asylum seekers and to make money available for that.
According to the advice, the reception of asylum seekers is structurally not well organized. If fewer people need reception, the government makes less money available. As a result, new accommodation has to be arranged all the time. This is not good for asylum seekers and also puts pressure on the relationship between the central government and the municipalities. As a result, support for the reception is crumbling, according to the report.
The advisers think it would be good to make municipalities responsible for the reception of all asylum seekers. And depending on the size of the municipality, also oblige them to organize a number of reception places. “But there is a difference between ‘making places available and ‘being responsible for reception and guidance,’” they write.
According to the ROB and ACVZ, the government should divide the reception into two steps. If asylum seekers have just arrived, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) must check as soon as possible whether people have a chance of being granted refugee status. If not, the State is responsible for them. If they do have a good chance, the municipality is responsible for them.
State Secretary Eric van der Burg for Asylum will receive the advice on Tuesday.
On Monday night, the Red Cross placed tents on the grounds of the Ter Apel asylum application center so that no one had to sleep outside. Over the past few nights, about a hundred asylum seekers spent the night sleeping in chairs in the registration center.
The Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) currently has about 42,000 people in reception, and about 200 new asylum seekers report to Ter Apel every day. The COA has been looking for new permanent shelters for months.
The security regions are taking turns to provide emergency shelters for six hundred asylum seekers, four at a time taking in 150 each for two weeks. Friesland and Groningen are now doing so in sports halls in Heerenveen, Fintserwolde, and Leek. Zeeland made a former library in Tenreuzen available. Amsterdam-Amstelland is working the extra reception. The capital is already accommodating 1,650 asylum seekers and refugees.
Reporting by ANP