If it’s proven that people with a criminal record were released last week from undocumented people’s detention centers in order to make room for migrants in transit, the incident will remain isolated, affirmed Monday Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken on Radio 1. The N-VA representative convened his administration Monday at 8:30 am to be informed of the reality of facts alleged in an article of the Mediahuis group newspapers.
Last weekend, Mr. Francken had denied that former detainees were among the released undocumented people. “That was the information I had at that time,” he justified Monday.
“I convene my administration, but I suppose (the information) to be correct,” he admitted. Among other things, he wishes to know if we are speaking of people from Eritrea or Syria, who should have been released because they cannot be sent back to their country. Whatever is the case, Mr. Francken adds, “my administration knows that sending back criminals is indeed a priority.”
Should it be proven that “criminals” have indeed been released, the Secretary of State will instruct his administration to see to it that it will never happen again. In his view, the necessity to free space in detention centers for migrants in transit is also to be seen as an isolated occurence.
Though associated with the N-VA in the federal government, Open VLD castigated the N-VA’s attitude in this case, as well as that of the CD&V. “It’s the world upside down,” reacted Gwendolyn Rutten, President of the Flemish Liberals. “Normally, to prevent the release of criminals, we meet with one’s administration before, not after,” she snapped. She also holds a grudge against the CD&V mayors, who decided to close the highway parking lots on their communities’ land, which, according to her, led to “dangerous situations.”