Van der Burg expects enough support for the unchanged asylum law

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Van der Burg expects enough support for the unchanged asylum law

The distribution law for the reception of asylum seekers will be submitted to the House of Representatives unchanged at the beginning of next week. The Council of Ministers approved this today. In his own words, this is a ‘burden of the shoulders’ of State Secretary Eric van der Burg of Justice and Security. The State Secretary expects sufficient support for the unchanged distribution law.

The bill should ensure that asylum seekers are distributed more evenly across the country. Van der Burg has pushed aside strong criticism of the distribution law from, among others, the Council of State on his first proposal. ‘The cabinet has estimated that if we were to do what the Council of State advised, we would not achieve a majority in the House of Representatives’, explains the State Secretary. “So it’s pragmatic.”

‘If the influx of asylum seekers increases, additional places are needed’

Eric van der Burg, State Secretary for Justice and Security

If the influx of asylum seekers increases in the spring, extra places will be needed, according to Van der Burg. Both the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the government should get to work on this, says the State Secretary. It will take some time before the distribution law can be introduced, as it now has to pass first through the House of Representatives and then the Senate.

Spread law

For now, the proposal means that municipalities can receive extra, freely disposable money if they voluntarily provide structural reception places. This must involve at least 100 places that are available for five years. If this voluntary round does not yield enough places for asylum seekers, they must be distributed among municipalities in the province. Municipalities that voluntarily realize extra places from now on will receive the bonus with retroactive effect once the law has been passed, says Van der Burg.

Within a province, municipalities can ‘exchange’ among themselves, as long as there are enough reception places, says Van der Burg in his bill. For example, one municipality can offer shelter to asylum seekers, while another municipality will house status holders. These are asylum seekers who have a residence permit and are therefore entitled to a home. If that round is also insufficient, the State Secretary himself can force municipalities to arrange reception places. He then makes a decision about the distribution of the required reception places.

State Secretary Eric van der Burg of Justice and Security expects sufficient support for the unchanged distribution law. (ANP / Laurens van Putten)

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