Police and asylum agency clashing over registering asylum seekers
Over the past months, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the police have clashed multiple times about the registration of asylum seekers. The COA sent hundreds of asylum seekers off to emergency shelters before the police could check their identities. The National Police are furious about this, worried that they’ll lose track of undocumented migrants, NRC reports.
Asylum seekers who reported to the asylum registration center in Ter Apel but for whom there was no place to sleep there often got transferred to emergency shelters before the police could check their details in recent months. Sources told NRC that this has happened with about 1,200 people since May.
That is against the agreements with the police. The police must first take asylum seekers’ fingerprints, check their documents, and take their photos before they can go to a shelter for reception.
According to NRC, tensions between the police and COA ran so high that the police withdrew from an important crisis meeting with the COA, the immigration service IND, and the Ministry of Justice and Security. A police spokesperson told the newspaper that the organizations are “now” talking with each other again, and the registration backlog will be eliminated as soon as possible.
The COA told the newspaper that mobile identification teams would register asylum seekers at the emergency shelters. But sources contradicted that, saying the police don’t want to send their people all over the country. The police will only register asylum seekers in Ter Apel and Budel, the sources said to the newspaper.