ANKARA (AA) – A Dutch lawmaker has called for space to be made for “real refugees from Ukraine” and for those “who have no right to stay” to be returned.
In an opinion piece published on Monday by the Dutch weekly EW Magazine, Ruben Brekelmans said his party, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), “always advocates for the reception of refugees in our own region.”
“It is now more important than ever that every reception place is available for real refugees. Thousands of aliens who have exhausted all legal remedies reside in the Netherlands, are not entitled to asylum,” said the Dutch legislator. “These are people from Morocco or Tunisia, for example, who can return safely.”
“Every bed they occupy is a bed where no real refugee from Ukraine can sleep. It is therefore now even more important that they return quickly to their safe country of origin,” said Brekelmans.
Since the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine over 2 million refugees left to neighboring countries according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The number could top 5 million, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told a news conference on Monday.
Last week, the leader of Spain’s Vox party, Santiago Abascal, said Ukrainian refugees, not Muslim migrants, should be welcomed in Spain.
Reports on alleged racial discrimination against non-Ukrainians or non-Europeans leaving Ukraine also took center stage on European countries’ treatment of refugees.
The EU has since weighed in, with spokesperson Anitta Hipper saying that all people fleeing the war in Ukraine should be allowed into the bloc, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or skin color.
For his part, International Organization for Migration (IOM) head Antonio Vitorino said on Thursday that discrimination and racism against foreign nationals fleeing Ukraine “must end.”
Several nonprofit organizations working with asylum seekers have also denounced French authorities for racially discriminating against non-European refugees while maintaining welcoming policies towards Ukrainians fleeing from the ongoing war with Russia with open arms.
Nearly 1,000 refugees from Ukraine arrived in the Netherlands so far, the website DutchNews reported on Tuesday.