June 3, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Family of 7 staying in asylum centers for 14 years, Foreign Minister Nicole de Maur wants to fill the gaps | internal

14 years: This is how long a family of 7 asylum seekers spends at the asylum reception. An absolute record, according to figures from N-VA. Secretary of State for Asylum Nicole de Maur (CD&V) is currently trying to fill such loopholes.

Asylum shelter is still moaning. Fedasil is currently receiving at least 34,000 asylum seekers. On average, they stay there for 15 months. But there are also asylum seekers who are living in a center for longer, according to figures requested by MP Thomas Rogemann (N-VA) from Secretary of State for Immigration Nicole de Moor (CD&V). More than 3,500 people have been in an asylum center for more than 3 years. Until recently, asylum seekers who had already been rejected could stay at reception, as long as they continued to proceed with other accommodation procedures such as settlements or family reunification. An asylum deal struck by the federal government at the beginning of March should put an end to this: only people with a pending asylum application can stay in the shelter.

However, one family of seven takes the cake: They’ve been living at the shelter for the past 14 years. The family has already tried various measures to extend their stay in Belgium. From the moment the parents received a negative asylum decision, each time they started a new application in the name of one of their children. It is difficult to change this from a legal point of view, because this law is regulated at the European level. The family also applied for a medical and humanitarian settlement to extend their stay.

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N-VA wants the federal government to restrict people trying to extend their stay in an asylum center through several loopholes. Foreign Minister de Moor, however, replies that this is already happening with the measures outlined at the beginning of this month in the asylum deal. For example, a person who receives a negative asylum decision must leave reception within 30 days. This is a three-month average faster than today. This procedure ensures that only those who are going through the asylum procedure can count on reception. For example, about 1,000 beds will be made available in the short term and people who try to extend their stay through new orders will not be able to stay in the shelter.