Thank you, Theo: record number of refugees lose recognition after holiday in “unsafe” home country

19 August 2019
Theo Francken

In 2018, the protection status of 217 refugees was withdrawn. That’s a record. They are refugees who are seen as a danger to society or who travelled back to their country of origin. The increase is thanks to the resolute policy of former Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken.

Stricter for convicted criminals

In 2017, the parliament approved Theo Francken’s stricter immigration law. The law allows foreigners to be expelled from the country more quickly if they are convicted of a serious crime. They are then regarded as a danger to society.

On holiday in “unsafe” home country

As far as the “holidaymakers” are concerned: Theo Francken concluded agreements with the Netherlands and Germany to exchange information about refugees travelling back to their home country via their airports. Travelling back to the country of origin contradicts the recognition as a refugee, which is granted specifically because the home region is unsafe.

Four times more withdrawals

217 withdrawals out of 20,000 recognitions per year - it doesn’t seem like much. But compared to 2015, when there were 52 withdrawals, it’s no less than four times as many.

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