Since Sunday evening, about a hundred undocumented immigrants from Ebola-hit West African nations (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia) have moved into a vacant town building situated in Place Quetelet, in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode. The aim of this political squatting is for them to obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from the Belgian government until the epidemic is contained.
“Although deportations back to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been put temporarily on hold, the nationals of these countries, currently in Belgium have not been been granted permanent residence. Consequently, they find themselves in legal limbo. Moreover, they keep being encouraged to return voluntarily to their countries of origin. This is completely outrageous and absurd! If they can’t be deported, then how can we expect them to go home?” asked Alexis Andries, spokesperson for the non-profit organisation Pigment.
“Undocumented immigrants from Ebola-hit nations aren’t trying to ‘milk’ the dramatic situation currently affecting their countries and killing their families. They just want to assert their rights by referring to the American model. The United States have indeed granted an 18-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and a work permit to the nationals of the three West African countries worst hit by Ebola currently residing on American soil,” he said.
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)