Dutch gov't spending a fortune on fines for not handling asylum procedures on time
The Dutch government is spending a fortune on penalty payments to asylum seekers whose asylum procedures weren’t handled within the set time. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) missed the deadline about 20,000 times last year, 4.5 times more than the year before, De Telegraaf reported.
The IND did not report in its annual figures exactly what amount it spent on penalty payments last year. SGP parliamentarian Roelof Bisschop estimated the amount at between 80 and 100 million euros. He asked responsible State Secretary Eric van der Burg (Asylum) for disclosure of these figures and an explanation as to why so many asylum seekers’ procedures are overdue.
The Netherlands is the only member state in the European Union that uses penalty payments on asylum procedures. If an asylum seeker’s procedure is not handled within six months, they can go to court to demand compensation.
The Cabinet tried to block proceedings for penalty payments last year, but the attempt failed at the Council of State.
In the summer of last year, the Justice and Security Inspectorate warned that the IND did not have enough money or staff to assess asylum applications properly, creating a growing backlog and an increasing failure to assess applications properly. On top of the limited capacity, the IND also had to handle more asylum applications last year.
By June, the refugees’ organization VluchteligenWerk Nederland reported that some 6,000 asylum seekers were waiting longer than the legally permitted time for a decision on their application.