Majority of Dutch want asylum seekers settled in their own countries

FILE - Nigerians and third-country migrants head towards Libya from Agadez, Niger, According to a new poll, most Dutch people want such migrants to apply for asylum in their country of origin instead of coming to the Netherlands and applying there. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

About two-thirds of Dutch residents believe that asylum seekers for humanitarian or economic reasons should apply for asylum in regions in their own country rather than in the Netherlands, according to a survey by the Ipsos polling institute.

The Ipsos poll was commissioned the Connect International Foundation (CI) in the Netherlands for development policy and surveyed more than 3,000 people about the placement of asylum seekers.

Most respondents would prefer to only allow migrant workers with essential occupations into the Netherlands, 39 percent choose this option for European migrant workers and 41 percent for migrant workers from outside Europe.

Dutch newspaper Financieel reported that the questionnaire included possible solutions to address migration, such as keeping borders closed to asylum seekers, facilitating entry into the country, or receiving asylum seekers in their own region.

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According to the news portal, respondents supported the latter solution the most. The research also showed that most respondents would only allow migrant workers to perform essential tasks in the Netherlands.

CI director Tom de Veer said the survey results were “in line with what was expected.”

As he said, his foundation has developed a comprehensive plan to receive asylum seekers in neighboring regions of their own country. He added that 85 percent of asylum seekers do not have the financial means to come to the Netherlands, however, the foundation’s strategy is also actively helping them to return from their host country to their country of origin as soon as it becomes safe again.

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The plan also includes allowing only migrant workers admitted to the Netherlands who perform essential tasks and offers a strategy to prevent labor market tensions without the need to employ migrant workers.

Despite northern European countries like Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands having a reputation for being accepting of migrants and supportive of open borders, polling has often told a different story. For example, a majority of Swedes say the country has enough migrants while a slight majority of Germans are against more non-EU migration.

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