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Campaign vs. practice: limited room for manoeuvre under strict asylum policy

Making migration a key campaign issue in the recent Dutch general elections is one thing, but turning it into actual policy is another. ‘95% of Dutch immigration legislation is governed by European law’, says Emeritus Professor Peter Rodrigues in Dutch daily newspaper 'Trouw'. In short: political parties do not actually have many options.

The newspaper asked Rodrigues to comment on some of the measures proposed by the political parties.

According to the letter of the law, stricter border controls are permissible, as are differentiating between refugees and making cutbacks in asylum seeker accommodation. Applying for asylum outside of Europe is another option, under certain conditions. Rodrigues: ‘That’s only possible if the third country is safe and people are treated humanely.’

However, he does question the effectiveness of those measures. Take the plan to limit family reunification to war refugees only: that would account for only 1-2% of all immigration. Another measure – cutbacks in asylum seeker accommodation – could cost the Netherlands dearly within the European Union. Rodrigues: ‘It brings the whole way you deal with human rights into question.’

Read the full article (in Dutch) in Trouw ().

Photo: Christian Lue via Unsplash.

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