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Dutch MPs vote against residency for Angolan teen but offer compromise

posted 1 Nov 2011, 19:21 by Mpelembe   [ updated 1 Nov 2011, 19:23 ]

Dutch MPs vote against granting an 18-year-old Angolan youth residency status but say they will debate his right to study in the Netherlands.

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (NOVEMBER 1, 2011) (NOS) - Dutch MPs on Tuesday (November 1) voted against two motions granting 18-year-old Mauro Manuel a residency permit.

But the lawmakers said they would debate a motion that would allow the Angolan asylum seeker the right to stay in the Netherlands while the authorities consider granting him a study visa.

Sybrand van Haersma Buma, of the ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDA), proposed the compromise.

"The CDA faction thinks that Mauro should stay in the Netherlands by asking for a study permit. We think that the minister should have to answer very soon after everything that has happened. And if you see what it has done with this guy I think that you can't expect that he first goes back to Angola to ask for a study visa there. He should be able to do that here," he said.

Manuel said he would accept the compromise, if that was the only way he could stay on in the Netherlands.

"If this is the only possibility to stay then I'm satisfied. But I hope that the final decision will be that I get a normal residence permit."

The CDA is under pressure over the increasingly controversial case.

It relies on the support of the anti-immigration Freedom Party led by Gert Wilders to bolster the coalition government.

Manuel came to the Netherlands when he was nine, and has lived with a foster family since. He speaks Dutch with the accent of his adopted region, Limburg. Under current Dutch law, he faces deportation once he reaches 18.

Public and political criticism has grown this year over the expulsion of young asylum seekers, many of whom have spent most of their lives in the Netherlands.

In several Dutch towns, residents and local politicians have asked the minister to grant permits to asylum-seekers with children, but without much success so far.