Despite Baghdad's assurances, Iraqis who have been denied asylum in the Netherlands are refusing to return home. Leers says a fear of returning to Iraq is not sufficient grounds for asylum in the Netherlands.
"Even though it is painful," he stressed that people who have been denied residence permits and lost of their appeals, must leave the country. A majority of MPs in the lower house of parliament support Minister Leers' stance. Some opposition MPs have called on the government to change the policy for Iraqi asylum seekers but Minister Leers argues that asylum policy has to be applied consistently and fairly.
Earlier today, the minister announced that the tent camp outside the asylum centre in Ter Apel would not be staying there for much longer. He refused to say what steps would be taken to remove the asylum seekers, but he said it would be senseless to let the situation get out of hand. He also offered temporary accommodation to failed asylum seekers if they agree to leave the country.
©Radio Netherlands Worldwide
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