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Moroccans in Ter Apel. Screen shot from RVT Noord report
The Hague

Record numbers of Moroccans vainly apply for Dutch asylum

Moroccans are increasingly applying for asylum in the Netherlands, while the chance of a residence permit is almost zero.

Published: December 12, 2019, 1:05 pm

    According to figures from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), there were already 1032 requests in the first nine months of this year.

    “Asylum seekers come in and then they have to find out afterwards whether they are entitled to stay. That results in long procedures and high costs,” says immigration researcher Jan van de Beek.

    In the same period of 2018, only 803 asylum applications were submitted by Moroccans. The applications from foreign nationals from the North African country are almost always without prospects. According to the IND, only one percent of all Moroccans receive a residence permit.

    If the trend of this year continues, the record year of 2016 for asylum requests will be matched. In that year 1 283 Moroccans applied for asylum. The numbers are in sharp contrast to previous years. For example, only 90 Moroccans applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 2015, 65 the year before.

    Last week the ambassador of the North African country canceled another meeting with State Secretary Broekers-Knol from the Ministry of Justice. The discussions would finally have centered on the asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal remedies and who are only rarely taken back by Morocco, but it was cancelled at short notice without giving reasons.

    This is an unheard of and unprecedented humiliation in the diplomatic world. One would expect Dutch parliamentarians to stand up and defend the state secretary, but there has only been a deafening silence, especially from Rotterdam mayor Aboutaleb or Chamber President Arib, both from Moroccan origin.

    There are also dark figures from the same diaspora, operating within the Amsterdam “Mocromaffia”, such as Ridouan T, who has earned the designation of the “most wanted criminal in the Netherlands”.

    The Dutch government has for some time been trying to curb the flow of asylum seekers from the African country, which is the reason why in 2016, the country was labeled as safe. Once in the Netherlands, asylum seekers from safe countries such as, Morocco, Algeria and Albania cause trouble, Dutch daily De Telegraaf noted. These foreigners are mainly involved in petty crimes such as shoplifting as well as intimidation.

    Mayor Jos Hessels of Echt warned last month in De Telegraaf about a possible closure of the asylum seekers’ center in his village. The municipality has been receiving asylum seekers since 1990, but the nuisance they cause is mounting and inhabitants are fed up.

    Hessels wants the government to solve the problems with asylum seekers from safe countries as quickly as possible.

    Earlier this year, the mayors of Harderwijk and Hoogeveen also sounded the alarm about the nuisance of the “safe arrivals”. In Ter Apel the problems seem even greater. According to the mayor of the village, “95 percent” of shoplifters involve an asylum seeker from a safe country.

    “The apparent abuse of the asylum procedure by criminal, trouble-making and hopeless asylum seekers further underlines that the asylum system is bankrupt,” says immigration researcher Jan van de Beek.

    Asylum seekers come in and then they have to find out afterwards whether they are entitled to stay. Because that results in long procedures and high costs to get rid of them, noting is being done. “If, after those long procedures, the conclusion is that one should not stay, it is also noticeably difficult to deport them,” Van de Beek added.

    In Ter Apel, on the bus line 73, the drivers and security guards know what they see in their rear view mirrors. They have learned to distinguish between passengers from anywhere in the world and “the guys who refuse to buy a ticket and make this known verbally, while having sufficient financial resources,” said one busdriver.

    When the doors of the bus open for a flood of dark school children, the terror comes from forty, fifty of them, the driver explains.

    He says the violence committed by young Rotterdam Moroccans on the bus, who apply for asylum “for the debit premium” are not exaggerated on YouTube videos. He said authorities should act: “Do something about it!”

    A cashier from a store in the Dutch town says the stories about theft and insults and how difficult it is to report, are all real. The youngsters caught in the act simply grin and say “call the police”, because they know that calling the police is useless, she explains. Fortunately, they have now hired Vladimir, a huge Russian, as a security guard.

    Members of the House of Representatives are allowing this situation to continue.

    Almost 20 years ago in Ter Apel, “asylum tourists” as they were called, had caused problems. They were fake refugees who benefited from the long asylum procedures. They are now called “safe arrivals” or Veiligelanders. In ten years’ time, says the driver, it will be “the same story again”.

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