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Mark Klaassen on Dutch NOS news on deportation of rejected asylum seekers

At this week’s EU summit in Brussels, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte will try to get support for his plans to combat migration. He proposes tighter border controls at Europe’s external borders and returning rejected seekers to their country of origin more often. But how feasible is the latter proposal?

Of all migrants who were required to leave the Netherlands, only one-third actually did so. Police sometimes find rejected asylum seekers when checking the documents of foreigners on the street. These people should leave the country within 28 days, but are not supervised or checked further in this process. 

According to Mark Klaassen, Assistant Professor of Migration Law, it is ‘difficult to deport people who don’t have a residence permit. Often, asylum seekers are no longer living in the place where they previously stayed. If a person really wants to evade supervision and stops reporting to the authorities, it's not easy for the government to actually facilitate their return.’

In a detention centre in Rotterdam, for example, there are 400 people from Morocco waiting to leave. As of November, an agreement has been reached with Morocco that they can be forcibly returned. But Morocco has proved to be slow in sending the required documents and detention is only allowed for 6 months which has consequences. The majority of these asylum seekers are freed without residence permits and end up as illegal persons or travel on to another country. 

‘People have often invested a lot to come here. The journey to a European Member State is often dangerous, expensive and if you’ve taken all those risks and make it to the Netherlands, then perhaps you think to yourself – I’m going to do everything I can to stay here,’ says Mark Klaassen on Dutch NOS News.

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