Sudden walk in Ter Apel: hundreds of asylum seekers sleep on chairs and stretchers

Last night, hundreds of asylum seekers slept on chairs and stretchers at the sign-up center in Ter Apel. Thats what sources say to News Hour.

Secretary of State Broekers-Knol of Justice confirms that there are such problems, but does not want to mention numbers. โ€œTheres a huge rundown, but the exact number doesnt matter,โ€ she tells Nieuwsuur.

In Ter Apel, asylum seekers are first logged in. People who are not registered at the end of the day end end up in the night shelter. It was so full last night that people didnt get bed.

On the ground

Broekers-Knol stresses that 11,000 so-called status holders are still in asylum seekers, when they should be out of there already. โ€œThat makes it difficult to accommodate new people.โ€ At the moment, all regular shelters in the Netherlands are full, just like the emergency shelter in Goes.

According to the demissionary Secretary of State, it is not the case that the system has stalled. โ€œThere may be a spike at some point and that is at the moment.โ€

Today it was announced that the military barracks in Harskamp will remain open for Afghan refugees longer. The emergency shelter was intended to stop there by 4 October, but the Ministry of Justice wants to have the opportunity to accommodate new groups of refugees there until the end of this month.

Furthermore, the Marine Establishment in Amsterdam will be resumed to accommodate asylum seekers. Afghans were already housed there this summer. Broekers-Knol hopes to relieve the application center in Ter Apel.

Theres suddenly a huge outflow, says Broekers-Knol:

It is not the first time that there are problems of this kind in the Groningen Ter Apel login centre. More than a year ago, asylum seekers sometimes had to sleep on the ground in temporary pavilions. Extra beds were put up at that time.

Last month, some 200 asylum seekers were transferred to an emergency shelter for Afghan evacuees in Heumensoord near Nijmegen. Due to an influx of asylum seekers, there were insufficient reception areas in Ter Apel at the time.