The Netherlands let at least 30 suspected war criminals into the country under refugee status last year, a government investigation found Monday.
Justice Minister Klaas Dijkhoff told the Dutch parliament that an investigation of 170 asylum seekers found 30 of them were suspects of war crimes. The finding poses questions about the country and European Union’s inability to vet migrants before letting them in.
Ten of the war crime suspects were Syrian nationals and the others were from Eritrea, Georgia, Sudan and Nigeria, according to Agence France Presse. They may now be subject to deportation under the Geneva Convention. If the refugees can prove they will face inhumane treatment upon return to their home countries, it may be a difficult process to deport 20 of the asylum seekers, Dijkhoff said.
The Netherlands took in 58,800 refugees last year, and these numbers may further boost the Freedom Party’s growing popularity in the polls. The anti-immigration party, led by Geert Wilders, has become the largest political party in the country due to its aggressive immigration rhetoric in recent years.
“We are not sovereign any more. We are not even allowed to form our own immigration policy or even close our borders and I would do that,” Wilders said in January. “I would wish the Dutch to be more like Switzerland. In the heart of Europe, but not in the European Union.”
Immigration has led 53 percent of Dutch people to call for the country to follow the United Kingdom’s lead and vote on leaving the EU.
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