Peter Rodrigues about the demands of municipalities when it comes to housing asylum seekers
Municipalities are becoming more and more selective when it comes to the nationality, age and sex of the asylum seekers they are willing to take in. This is the outcome of an investigation by Dutch newspaper NRC. And the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) agrees with the results. The limitations in target audiences have been agreed on to safeguard the security of the reception centres.
Asylum seekers from ‘safe countries’ are the group that causes most of the problems. For that reason, their asylum application will almost always be rejected. ‘That people come from a safe country; doesn’t mean they are safe.’ This criterium is much too broad according to Peter Rodrigues, Professor of Immigration Law. He mentions gay people or activists. Other distinctions, such as between people with or without families should not be allowed according to Rodrigues. 'The government should not discriminate. By creating these distinctions, the government is doing exactly that.’
Municipalities that do not set criteria fear that they will be given more asylum seekers that are likely to cause problems. ‘In the worst scenario, all municipalities will say that they no longer want people from safe countries and this group will end up on the streets as a result,’ according to Rodrigues in NRC.