AMSTERDAM, 21/06/07 - More and more local authorities are being inundated with illegals hoping to be entitled to a residence permit. The Labour (PvdA), Christian democratic (CDA), and ChristenUnie parties' general pardon is attracting very large numbers of ex-asylum seekers and adventurers trying their luck.Which could be lived with (barely), if the current immigration laws were enforced robustly after the amnesty comes into effect. But chances of that seem to be slim. Just yesterday Immigration State Secretary Nebahat Albayrak presented her latest brainchild: To combat illegal immigration, we should let more immigrants in (NL). Brilliant! Just brilliant.
Nijmegen has already allocated hundreds of thousands of extra euros for emergence care of these people. Amersfoort gives everyone applying an immediate 180 euros for living money and also offers them a free integration course. In Eindhoven, amnesty candidates even get 276 euros a month per person in order to be able to await the outcome in a 'decent way," De Volkskrant reported yesterday.
There is quite a rush on at amnesty shelters, specially set up by municipalities and asylum organisations. Amsterdam is already housing 1,000 hopefuls, Rotterdam 500, The Hague 700 and Utrecht 200. Immigration State Secretary Nebahat Albayrak expects between 25,000 and 30,000 people to be eligible for the amnesty.
Most rejected asylum-seekers continue to live in asylum centres, despite definitive rejection of their applications by more than one court. Another group tried to obtain asylum in other EU countries or simply disappeared into the illegal circuit.
According to refugee organisations, many people may have been living with Dutch people "in the attic" for years. To qualify for the amnesty scheme, they must however be able to prove they applied for asylum before 1 April 2001 and have lived continuously in the Netherlands since then. This will be a problem for many of them, refugee organisations think.
See also here. And here and here over at Snoucks blog.