Several hundred people demonstrated in Brussels on Sunday to demand regularization of the status of illegal immigrants in Belgium, on the basis of clear and sustainable criteria. According to Brussels police, 1,600 protesters moved from Brussels North Station to Albertinaplein.
This demonstration was called by the coordination of persons not registered in Belgium, Sans Papiers TV and their partners, as part of their “We are Belgium too” campaign. “We have struggled for more than 6 years without getting any response from immigration policy makers,” say the initiators of the demonstration. We launched a petition on March 10, already signed by 45,251 Belgians. This is the same number of Belgians who have expressed support for the regularization of hundreds of illegal immigrants who have been living in Belgium for many years.
The initiators said: “The period of the spread of the Corona virus has only exacerbated the neglect and disorder of illegal immigrants.” However, they believe that the pandemic and floods have just made it clear that Belgium will need a contribution from everyone to recover: “You cannot relaunch the economy and at the same time create social fraud through undeclared work and the exploitation of undocumented workers.” to allow. Collective solidarity and economic revival go hand in hand. The Belgian government should review its immigration and asylum policy. There is a need for a policy in which undocumented immigrants are given the opportunity to integrate and participate fully in our society.
“It’s about 150,000 people living underground in Belgium without rights,” says Stephan Neuwinkel of Pax Christi Flander. They all make up the sixth largest city in this country. Add to that the thousands of people who support and help them, who provide them with shelter, care and food, and you have a city the size of Ghent. Today, all these people come out to defend their rights. According to Pax Director Christi, there is a need for a clear settlement procedure to be applied in an objective manner by an independent panel chaired by a judge.
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