Fate of teenage asylum seeker Mauro hangs in balance

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Asylum seeker Mauro Manuel will not resist deportation to his native Angola if his last attempt to reverse the decision of immigration minister Gerd Leers fails.

The 18-year-old has become the subject of heated political debate since he was ordered in June to leave the Netherlands, where he has lived for the last eight years.

His fate now appears to rest with the governing Christian Democrat (CDA) party, which is split over whether to allow him to remain in the country as an exceptional case.

The CDA parliamentary group is meeting at lunchtime on Thursday to decide its position ahead of a debate later in the afternoon.

Its coalition partner, the Liberal Party (VVD), wants Mauro to be sent home, as does the Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders, which was elected on an anti-immigration platform.

Leers, himself a member of the CDA, has resisted repeated calls from within his own party and the opposition to make an exception for Mauro.

A spokesman for Defence for Children said on Thursday that the teenager would leave voluntarily if there was no hope of a reprieve.

It also emerged that the former Labour (PvdA) minister Nebahat Albayrak had approved Mauro’s deportation back in 2009. This followed the rejection of his original asylum application in February 2007.

In opposition, the PvdA has campaigned for Mauro to remain and called for the rules to be relaxed for asylum seekers who arrived in the country as children.

Mauro, who arrived in the Netherlands aged nine after being bundled onto a plane by his mother, has no Angolan passport, but the country’s government has indicated he would receive temporary travel papers on his arrival.

His departure would be managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which gives assistance and financial support to migrants in 132 countries.

Source: De Volkskrant: Lot Mauro in handen verdeelde CDA-fractie
Photo by Shirley de Jong

See also: No reprieve for 18-year-old asylum seeker Mauro

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