Tougher approach to asylum seekers causing disturbances

Minister for Migration Mark Harbers will be taking a tougher approach to any asylum seekers causing disturbances. These troublemakers are now more likely to be sent to the special supervision and monitoring location (EBTL), potentially including unaccompanied minor returnees over the age of 16 in individual cases. The capacity of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will also be expanded in order to speed up the processing of Dublin cases, while the various chain partners will intensify their efforts to compile dossiers in order to allow for remand where necessary. In addition, the IND will confer with the Judiciary to determine whether asylum cases of severe troublemakers can be prioritised by the District Courts in order to speed up the rejection process. These measures were prompted by the recent string of incidents at COA locations, frequently involving returnees with a small likelihood of obtaining asylum status.

Minister for Migration Mark Harbers will be taking a tougher approach to any asylum seekers causing disturbances. These troublemakers are now more likely to be sent to the special supervision and monitoring location (EBTL), potentially including unaccompanied minor returnees over the age of 16 in individual cases. The capacity of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will also be expanded in order to speed up the processing of Dublin cases, while the various chain partners will intensify their efforts to compile dossiers in order to allow for remand where necessary. In addition, the IND will confer with the Judiciary to determine whether asylum cases of severe troublemakers can be prioritised by the District Courts in order to speed up the rejection process. These measures were prompted by the recent string of incidents at COA locations, frequently involving returnees with a small likelihood of obtaining asylum status.

In addition to the introduction of new measures, existing measures will be applied more effectively where possible and tightened where necessary. Harbers: 'Antisocial behaviour is completely unacceptable. We simply cannot accept situations where local residents living near an AZC or staff at COA locations feel unsafe. For this reason, I will be taking additional measures to deal with this group of troublemakers in an adequate manner. However, we should also be creative within the framework of existing options. If an area ban for troublemakers proves to be effective on New Year's Eve, it's New Year's Eve for them all year round as far as I'm concerned.'

Troublemakers will be more likely to be placed in the special supervision and monitoring location (EBTL). For example, seven such troublemakers were transferred to the EBTL in the wake of the incidents in Weert and Westerwolde. The EBTL is subject to stricter regulations than a normal AZC. Residents leaving the site are limited to specific locations and must report to staff every time that they leave and return to the EBTL. They are required to report to staff on a daily basis and do not receive any financial benefits as would be the case in a regular facility.

A growing number of incidents is being caused by a specific, limited group of presumably unaccompanied minor returnees (AVM). In order to address this situation, the options for EBTL placement will be extended to include unaccompanied minor returnees over the age of 16 in individual cases. The existing supervision methods for AVMs have proven difficult to apply to this specific group of troublemakers. As a result, COA, DJI and Nidos are currently discussing the potential for other joint measures. Placement at more restricted reception centres will not be ruled out.

Troublemakers tend to be from safe countries of origin and often have a Dublin designation. This fact means that another EU Member State is responsible for the asylum application. The relevant asylum seekers can be sent back by the Netherlands on the basis of a Dublin claim. IND capacity will be expanded and applied to prioritise this group of troublemakers, in order to speed up processing on the Dutch side. In addition, IND staff will be charged with ensuring that the returnees show up for their appointments on time. This approach will help to ensure that asylum procedures do not incur any unnecessary delays.

Asylum cases involving troublemakers can be prioritised in order to speed up their departure, as District Courts have proven willing to do so in the recent past. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service will be working with them to discuss the more structural application of this method.

See also

Ministry responsible