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Asylum seekers from safe countries influence negative opinion

The asylum seekers’ centres in Hengelo, Almelo and Schalkhaar caused little or no nuisance in recent years. There have been hardly any incidents, according to information received by Dutch regional TV channel RTV Oost. However, Maarten Offinga, Mayor of Hardenberg, sounded the alarm with the state secretary last week because of increasing nuisance from a group of asylum seekers from safe countries in and around the asylum seekers’ centres.

Asylum seekers from safe countries are causing trouble in more places in the country, says Peter Rodrigues, Professor of Immigration Law, on RTV Oost. ‘Asylum seekers from safe countries are often people who have no prospects or right to asylum. Knowing that they have little chance, they try to take advantage of the situation they are in and sometimes overstep the mark.’

This group influences the perception people sometimes have about asylum seekers, Rodrigues acknowledges. ‘But if you really need asylum in the Netherlands, that’s not the way you behave’.

Generally speaking, the situation in Hardenberg is now stabilising.

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