Antwerp: Regularization counters closed after conflict between illegals and Jewish children
On September 15th the Belgian gov't started a campaign to regularize new immigrants. The campaign is set to last until Dec 15. Illegal immigrants who are 'firmly rooted' in Belgium and who have been in Belgium for five years, or who have been in Belgium legally at some point or tried to be in the country legally, can now apply to become legal.
The gov't expects 50,000-80,000 illegals to get permits this time around, but an anonymous top official of the Belgian immigration department says that taking into account the expected 'follow-up' immigration, they should get about 350,000 new immigrants all together. The immigration service, on its part, rejected this number, and said it was "made-up and unfounded" and that it's job description doesn't include criticizing or questioning gov't decisions.
The Flemish naturalization minister wasn't happy about this campaign. Neither was the city of Antwerp, which is expected to get 25% of the regularization requests.
In Antwerp the city opened its regularization service last Tuesday, and closed it down (temporarily) Wednesday afternoon.
The (immigrant) regularization counters in Antwerp were temporarily closed down after a threat of a conflict last week between illegal immigrants and Jewish children who were playing nearby.
The counters were closed down Wednesday afternoon. "Our Flemish minister for naturalization, Geert Bourgeois, therefore had to postpone his work-visit to the Antwerp regularization counters by a day," says N-VA chairman Bart De Wever. He doesn't think that the Antwerp social services bureau will suppress the problem.
"Naturally [I] responded in shock to this news. It's a grave warning of the fact that we can expect problems there. The idea! That seeing Jewish children would be a threat."
Source: GvA (Dutch)