Secretary of State wants to limit asylum applications to 50 a day

The Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Theo Francken (Flemish nationalist) has said that in future the Aliens’ Office will limit the number of new asylum applications to a maximum of 50 per day. Speaking in an interview with the daily ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’, Mr Francken said that he wants to send out “a clear signal” to people smuggling gangs that have been bringing mainly Palestinian men to Belgium in recent weeks.

Those that aren’t able to get asylum won’t be given bed and board until they are able to do so.  

During the past few months the number of asylum applications has risen sharply. There were 2,750 applications for asylum in Belgium made during October. This is 54% more than during the same period last year.

Mr Francken’s response is to limit the number of applications that can be made to 50/day. This is just half of the around 100 applications that the Aliens’ Office currently processes.

Those unable to apply on the day of their arrival due to the quota won’t be given bed and board until they have been able to apply for asylum. The Secretary of State says that he doesn’t know what they are supposed to do in the meantime.   

Mr Francken told the paper that "I want to send out a clear signal that Belgium is not a land of milk and honey. It can’t be the case that people that have had asylum applications turned down in Germany travel on to Belgium and The Netherlands”.  

Vulnerable groups will be given priority. “Families with children, people that are ill, single women and pregnant women will be given somewhere to stay”, Mr Francken said.

The Secretary of State says that at all costs he wants to avoid a repeat of the situation that developed during the 2015 asylum crisis.