Thousands Of Migrants Denied Asylum Are “Stranded” In The Netherlands

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Thousands of asylum seekers who have
been denied permission to stay in Netherlands between 2014 and May 2018 are
unable to leave because their home countries have refused to accept them
back. 

According to figures from the
repatriation service Dienst Terugkeer en
Vertrek
(DTV), published by the Telegraaf newspaper, some 2,310
repatriation requests have been turned down while 8,020 requests have been
withdrawn due to no response within a year.

Algeria has turned down the most
number of requests in 2018, while Afghanistan, Morocco, Iraq and Iran regularly
failed to respond to Dutch repatriation requests.

DTV spokesman Lennart Wegwijs said
the number of migrants affected was less than 10 000 because some people were
the subject of more than one request:

 “For some people we have made repeated
requests and in some cases we have made applied to several countries for the
same person. I can’t say how many people it actually involves. I don’t have
those figures.”

Meanwhile, two centers for delinquent
asylum seekers will be closed down at the end of the year. 

The shelters in Heerenveen and
Amsterdam were opened on two-year contracts in 2017 to house 50 migrants who
were removed from previous centers for causing trouble.

Authorities have decided to close the
Amsterdam center due to the scarcity of properties in the Dutch capital and the
local government’s commitment to locals. 

Mayor Femke Halsema has asked other
towns and cities to help and assume the responsibility of providing shelter to
the migrants:

“It is now time for other
towns and cities to take on this role.”

In Heerenveen, migrants have been
banned from entering key areas of the city due to repeated offenses. 

“We have had to deal mainly with
people who have no chance of getting a permanent residency permit,” Mayor Niek
Loohuis said.

The Dutch Justice Ministry vowed to
speed up the processing of asylum requests by people from safe countries, so
they can be repatriated as quickly as possible and lessen the number of
rejected migrants stranded in the country.

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