Immigration status of Mawda Shawri’s parents still not resolved
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    Immigration status of Mawda Shawri’s parents still not resolved

    © Belga
    Without their immigration status being regularized, the parents cannot work or be in receipt of any form of benefits.
    © Belga

    Mawda Shawri’s parents have still not obtained authorization to stay in Belgium, eight months after their daughter died, and could as a consequence find themselves sent to a closed centre. The magazine Knack was reporting the issue on Tuesday. 

    Five days after the death of the young Kurdish girl, aged 2, killed by a stray bullet shot by a policeman, Charles Michel had an audience with her parents. The Prime Minister also confirmed to parliament that the parents of the young girl would not be expelled from the country. He had even anticipated the possibility of regularizing their immigration status within Belgium. 

    Nearly eight months after her death, Mawda’s parents are still living in a period of uncertainty. “We have made no progress,” notes Me Selma Benkhelefa, their lawyer. She goes on, “We made the initial application for asylum on 28 May 2018, and we still await a response from the Immigration and Asylum Office. The process has lasted a very long time, although it is simple in and of itself. The law states that asylum seekers are able to have their immigration status regularized, in exceptional circumstances. She asks, “If the death of a child is not an exceptional circumstance, then precisely what is?”

    The absence of any decision could have serious consequences. Mawda’s parents have no authorization to remain in Belgium and might consequently be arrested following an identity check, and sent to a closed centre. Without their immigration status being regularized the parents cannot moreover work or be in receipt of any form of benefits.  

    Lars Andersen 
    The Brussels Times