Monthly Archives: October 2012

New Dutch coalition government annnounces asylum and immigration policies

On Monday night two Dutch political parties, the VVD and PvdA, announced that they were forming a new coalition government. As part this announcement  they outlined their policies on asylum and immigration.

As expected, there will be a ‘kinderpardon’ (children’s pardon): unaccompanied minors and children of asylum seekers who have been in  the country for at least 5 years will receive a residency visa when they turn 18.

However, the government wants to criminalise anyone who is in the Netherlands ‘illegally’, such as those without papers. (Read more about this in Dutch here). Residency visas will not be given to those who were previously ‘illegal’ in the Netherlands or to those who have committed fraud.

Furthermore, foreigners who are convicted of a crime can now be deported up to five years after the crime has been committed.


“Right To Exist” group announce four days of protest in The Hague

The group “Right To Exist” (“Recht Op Bestaan”), who have had a protest camp in The Hague since 19/09/12, have announced four days of action. On Wednesday there will be a demo at the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs. on Thursday a demo at the CDA head office, on Friday an infostand on Spuiplein and on Saturday there will be a march under the banner “No one is illegal”.

Growing demands for tentcamp protesters in Amsterdam to be housed

The clamour to house Somalians, Sudanese, Ethiopians and other so-called “failed”asylum seekers currently camping in the Nieuw-West district of Amsterdam, is growing ever louder, reports Het Parool.

Around 800 people have signed an online petition calling on mayor Eberhard van der Laan and Nieuw-West council leader Achmed Baâdoud to take action.

Tomorrow the camp enters its third week and every day it gets colder and wetter. There is enough money to buy a generator to provide heat but the fire bridage are refusing permission for this.

A mayoral spokesperson Bartho Boer told Het Parool: ‘Experts from the GGD [local health authority] believe that people can still stay in the tentcamp. The campers have camp beds and sleeping bags available to them and they are not seriously sick”.


Another Roma camp evicted in France

On Monday 15th October a Roma camp of about 200 residents in Seine-Saint-Denis near Paris was evicted by police.

The prefecture told Le Parisien that the eviction was ‘a judge’s decision’ about private land and that the eviction ‘went well’. At the end of September EERC, a European NGO, demanded that the French government suspend its programme of eviction for Romanian Roma camps.

According to a report in Liberation, the evictees have still not been housed by the local council. Mothers with infants have been put up in the home of an activist, and others are camping in the garden of another activist, in tents provided by Medicins du Monde.

Updates from migrant protest camps in Amsterdam and The Hague

The migrant protest camps at the Koekamp in The Hague and Osdorp/Nieuw West in Amsterdam continue. Both are receving support from local residents and organisations.

Today (Tuesday 8th October) the IND delivered a letter to the Koekamp saying that only those migrants that agree to return to their home countries will be accommodated. The migrants have said that they cannot go back and they have vowed to stay on.

Amsterdam’s mayor Van der Laan has said that the camp can stay for the time being. A survey last week in Amsterdam daily Het Parool showed that a majority of the city’s residents want the city council to support the migrants who are camping.

Protest in Calais 13/10/12

This Saturday at 10am there will be a protest in Calais. This is a protest against police harassment of migrants, to support the intercultural Zetkin space which the town hall recently forced to close. and to support La Belle Etoile, a local migrant-supporting association which the town hall is also threatening. The protest is being supported by a number of different local organisations.

In the last 24 hours, police have closed two migrant squats and destroyed a camp. They have said that anyone returning to try to collect their belongings faces 6 months imprisonment.