The State Secretary for Asylum and Immigration, Theo Francken, visited the weekend staff at the Foreigner’s office on Saturday. He thanked the staff for their flexibility during this asylum crisis.
The Foreigner’s office has been open on Saturdays since September, run by volunteer staff. The staff are paid for the hours they do, but don’t get paid any bonuses. The aim is to increase their capacity.
This exceptional measure aims to reduce the backlog, and manage the asylum crisis.
Every Saturday, 100 to 110 extra cases are dealt with, between 400 and 500 a month. This weekend service will continue as long as necessary. There has been a drop in the number of cases during the winter months, but the overflow has not yet been dealt with.
Theo Francken’s cabinet said a passenger had been convicted of opposing a deportation on Wednesday. Four cases are ongoing: two against civilians and two against politicians, Gisèle Mandaila (FDF) and mayor Emir Kir (PS). The cabinet reminded politicians of their responsibility to express their disagreement with the deportation policy to the Chamber, and not by interrupting police work in the field.