There will be a general amnesty for asylum seekers!!!
The new parliament just voted a couple of hours ago in favour of the motion, by a very, very slim majority of 75 for and 74 against. It was the first issue on the table by the newly elected parliament which started work today. The Labour Party (PvdA), Socialist Party (SP), GreenLeft (GroenLinks), and Party for Animals (Partij van de Dieren) formed the majority for the motion, whereas the incumbent governing parties Christian Democrats (CDA), Liberals (VVD), as well as right-wing Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid, PVV) and orthodox-Poretestant Political Reformed Party (Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij, SGP) were against. The PvdA says that this is evidence that a majority of people in the country are for a general amnesty. Even though the new cabinet has yet to be formed, the leader of the PvdA called the motion a necessary step to show that the new parliament speaks out of principal for the amnesty.
If the motion were implemented, then a total of around 31,000 asylum seekers who came to the
before 2001, before the new and restrictive Immigration Law (Vreemdlingenwet) came into force, would have a right to stay. Of these asylum seekers, some have spent many, many years awaiting pending decisions from the Immigration Service about their status and right to remain in the country. Many have all this time been living in fear, and in intolerable conditions and prisons, and been confronted with the uncertainty of forced deportation. Netherlands
Minister Verdonk of Immigration Affairs was, and still is, totally against the general amnesty, and “severely discourage[d]” [ten zeerste ontraden] the debate on the issue. Before the elections, she accused the left parties of giving asylum seekers who came into the