In the Netherlands, Migration is an interesting topic these days. The PVV (a right-wing party) wants to close the borders for all immigrants and our current government has proposed a new policy which intends to make ‘being illegal in the Netherlands’ a crime. It is fair to state that the current situation regarding the immigrants is surrounded by a harsh atmosphere.
The new plan of our government is to impose a fine up to 3900 euro and possible detention on the immigrants who are done with their legal procedure. This policy should discourage other immigrants to come here. The problem is that some of the immigrants that are currently done with their procedure in the Netherlands can’t go back to their country of origin.
Firstly, the situation in their country might not be safe enough. Article three of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits the extradition of immigrants to a foreign state if they are likely to be subjected there to torture.
Moreover, some countries like Somalia, simply refuse taking immigrants back if they can’t prove (with a passport for example) that they were born there. The thing is that most immigrants do not have these documents.
As a result, these immigrants might be defined as ‘illegal’ in the future. They don’t have money because they can’t work, so they will end up in prison.
DWARS thinks this policy is inhumane. The ‘illegal’ immigrants will not have good access to medical aid and education, as they will be afraid to be caught by the police. This will only drive them away from society.
We think that the government is just fighting symptoms instead of creating a better procedure. Immigrants should either go back to their country of origin, or be awarded a residence permit. If the legal procedure takes too long, immigrants should be awarded a residence permit as well. In this way, they can contribute to our society.
In the Netherlands, an immigrant can fight the first decision of the court. However, while awaiting the second decision, accommodation is not always granted. In our opinion, this is inhuman and should change.
In the opinion of DWARS, a European Immigrant Policy should be created. European guidelines regarding the legal procedure and accommodation of immigrants should reduce the inequality between the procedures in different European countries. On top of that, it would improve the solidarity in the EU.
We think the current measures of our government do not fit a country that has high standards regarding human rights. No human is illegal.
This post has also been published on the blog of the FYEG Working Group on Migration, Culture and Identity, that can be found in its integrality following this link.