Asylum seeker applying to stay in Holland

Failed asylum seeker Mauro Manuel is preparing an application for a temporary student visa to stay in the Netherlands for the next few years, says the Defence for Children group.

He came to the country as an unaccompanied asylum seeker when he was 10 years old but, when he recently turned 18, was required to return to his native Angola. The case caused a public outcry, with people saying he had become too 'Dutch' to be sent back. The government, however, said it could make no exceptions to the asylum rules.

The present minority coalition has adopted a tough stance towards immigration. Observers put this down to the fact that it relies on support from Geert Wilders' anti-immigration Freedom Party for a majority in parliament.

Last week, MPs passed a motion saying Mr Manuel should be allowed to stay in the country while he applied for a student visa. Usually such applications have to be made from abroad.

Immigration Minister Gerd Leers has said he will look at the application sympathetically but insists it will be judged in accordance with the rules. He maintains that to bend the rules would be "extremely unjust and arbitrary".

If Mr Manuel fails to acquire a student visa, he will be forced to move to Angola.

Watch a video about the Mauro Manuel case


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide


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