Policy memorandum on Asylum and Migration: naive, safeguards for more illegal migration and lax return policy

6 November 2020

The N-VA is not at all keen on the policy memorandum proposed by Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi. The N-VA notes that it is steeped in migration naivety, to the extent that it will lead to a further increase in both non-European legal immigration and illegal immigration. The Flemish people voted in favour of a stricter migration policy, but are getting the opposite.

Secretary of State Sammy Mahdi continues to advocate keeping our external maritime borders open. That was precisely the way that the terrorists who perpetrated the attacks in Nice and Vienna came to our continent. Belgium will continue to be proactive in accepting illegal migrants picked up at sea. Nevertheless, only the zero tolerance of the Australian model can bring relief here. But the purple-green government remains blind to this and its naivety will cost many lives.

Furthermore, access to apply for asylum remains unimpeded, even during the coronavirus crisis. Former Minister Maggie De Block had temporarily closed the asylum office during the first coronavirus wave for health reasons. Today, however, the health situation in Brussels is many times more precarious than it was then, yet Secretary of State Sammy Mahdi is opening the asylum gate wide open again.

There is also no trace in the memorandum of stricter family reunification criteria or regulations on entry into residences. The studies and advice from his own administration, the National Bank and the Bossuyt Commission nevertheless insist on this.

Weak repatriation policy, non-approach to transit migration

Forced return is being eroded by the prohibition of detention of minors. In addition, the promised additional closed repatriation centres for illegal immigrants will not even open during this legislature. The purple-green coalition is focusing on voluntary return, but the vast majority of transit migrants simply do not want to return.

From now on, the governing coalition wants to accommodate all families with children in houses and apartments via the Public Social Welfare Centres. This will have an enormous effect in attracting migrants. The N-VA only wants shelter to be provided in collective reception centres.

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