Despite Parliamentary majority, no emergency assistance for rejected asylum seekers

29 November 2012

Despite Parliamentary majority, no emergency assistance for rejected asylum seekers

29-11-2012 • SP Member of Parliament Sharon Gesthuizen describes herself as ‘deeply disappointed’ in the outcome of discussions of the budget for the department responsible for immigration and asylum. Last week a majority in Parliament lent support to a proposal from the SP requesting the provision of humane conditions for asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected after exhausting all procedures. Despite the majority vote, the Secretary of State responsible, Fred Teeven, has failed to act on the motion’s demands.

Sharon Gesthuizen'There are as things stand rejected asylum seekers who experience problems which mean that they can’t go back and who end up on the street,’ says Gesthuizen. ‘A majority in Parliament is unwilling to see these people disappear into illegality and has demanded that Teeven provide assistance, but he is ignoring the motion. Even emergency accommodation provided by local authorities is not provided for. I find it incomprehensible that a motion which was even supported by one of the governing coalition parties, Labour, is not going to be implemented.’ The Labour Party has stated that it is satisfied with the Secretary of State’s declaration.

In Gesthuizen’s view it is regrettable that a Parliamentary majority advocates a humane asylum policy yet nothing will change in the previous government’s policies. ‘I feel that the Labour Party has played me for a fool, when in the past we have always gone along together on this matter,’ she says. Former Labour spokesman on asylum Hans Spekman is on record as having said, just last year, that ‘It’s a matter of keeping these people away from illegality, by giving them good support in getting to and when in their country of origin. You can only deport people in a responsible fashion when you know what will happen to them back there.’'

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