Experts dissolve the cabinet for the reception crisis: “Every judge rejects this” | Currently

Experts dissolve the cabinet for the reception crisis: “Every judge rejects this” |  Currently

On Friday, the Council of Ministers presented a package of measures that would solve the situation in the reception crisis. But experts unequivocally state that an important part of the plans is legally untenable: “This whole plan for the stage. Stopping the asylum is absolutely not possible. Every judge will refer this to the trash.”

Because of the reception crisis, the alliance of VVD, D66, ChristenUnie and the CDA wants to temporarily limit family reunification for asylum seekers. Soon it will be difficult for asylum seekers to travel to the Netherlands after their relatives. The measure, which will apply until 2023, comes after a backlog of violations in asylum reception in the Netherlands, especially in Ter Apel.

“The right to family reunification for refugees is an essential part of the European Convention on Human Rights,” says Associate Professor of Political Science Saskia Bonjour from the University of Amsterdam.

Bonjour specializes in immigration policy. “The idea behind this rule is that families cannot be reunited in their country of origin – which is why they fled.”

Family reunification is a widely supported standard.

The Netherlands also signed this treaty in a European context. “In practical terms, leaving that treaty would mean the Netherlands would have to leave the EU,” Bonjour explains. “The treaty was drafted because it relates to a widely supported standard: families must stay together. Fortunately, that support still exists in Europe.”

The assistant professor of political science doesn’t understand why the Cabinet would do this if every lawyer in the ministry needs to know how difficult this construction is. Bonjour predicts that “any judge, if it becomes a case, will throw this plan in the trash.”

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“But these kinds of actions take a lot of time. And then another year later. Maybe that’s the government’s tactic: train and buy time. But that has nothing to do with good governance.”

“The Cabinet Invents Tricks Instead of Solutions”

Will Eckelbaum is president of the Association of Asylum Lawyers and Advocates in the Netherlands (VAJN). “The Cabinet is once again choosing creative tricks over structural and sustainable solutions,” he sighs. “The Cabinet is ignoring the fact that this suffocation in Ter Apel is the result of ten years of bad politics. It is wrong and disproportionate to allow asylum seekers to suffer again.”

The current plan to postpone family reunification theoretically does not change the current pressure on streaming and reception sites. “On the contrary, the procedure for status holders only takes longer,” Eckelbaum explains. “This means that these people have to stay longer in asylum seekers’ centers. Not to mention the psychological problems and uncertainty that burden them.”

Europe demands that this measure be completed quickly

University lecturer Bonjour adds that thwarting beneficiaries’ families is not in anyone’s interest. “European guidelines state that if someone is granted status, the procedure should be completed as quickly as possible,” she says.

“Each study also shows how bad it is for children to postpone family reunification. Moreover, it is in the interest of the country hosting the refugees to integrate these people as quickly as possible.”

It is true that a number of countries, such as Denmark, Germany, Austria and Sweden, also suspended family reunification for a period during the “refugee crisis” in 2015. “But in those countries they still have two types of residency that a refugee can get,” Bonjour explains.

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“The second alternative, the so-called subsidiary protection, already offers this scope in theory. But we have not known this alternative in the Netherlands since 2000. It has been legally omitted to prevent protest proceedings that do not end after one status is refused.”

“Thousands of people are now afraid for the family”

Eckelbaum also stressed that the Cabinet’s plans to suspend family reunification would not stand up to any judge. “This whole plan for the stage, to send a signal to right-wing voters that everything is being done to stem the flow of asylum,” the lawyer analyzes. “There is talk of stopping asylum, while this is not possible due to all the treaties the Netherlands has signed. The rights and feelings of refugees are not taken into account in any way.”

The head of VJN expects that these unclear rules – the government has not yet provided many details – will essentially lead to a wave of panic and uncertainty among beneficiaries who are now waiting for their families. “This new bump could mean an extra year of delay,” Eckelbaum calculates.

“It is about thousands of people who will not see their families for at least a year, while these individuals often find themselves in a dangerous and unsafe situation in their country of origin. Not to mention the additional burden on the judiciary where they wash. The nose will take care of it.”

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