The Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken (N-VA), will propose the government to extend for up to a year and a half the duration of the detainment of illegal immigrants, informed DeTijd Tuesday. In Belgium, those in the country without permits and for which the procedures for the request for asylum did not succeed may be detained for up to five months. Those who cannot be deported must be freed after two months. The detainment of criminals illegally in the country reaches eight months.
According to European rules regarding the return trip, no one is to be detained for more than six months; however, “in exceptional cases”, this period may be extended up to one year. Theo Francken will thus propose that in Belgium the maximum period of detention be extended to 18 months, in order to bring cases to a close.
Foreigners often refuse to cooperate for tactical reasons, not revealing their identities and origins. Moreover, certain countries, such as Algeria, do not provide the documents needed for the return trip. The Secretary of State is of the opinion that those pressured with a prolonged detention will cooperate more quickly for their return trip.