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Dutch minister favours mobile police inspections along border area

Illegal aliens issue seen as a problem


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE Dutch Minister for Immigration and Asylum Affairs Gerd Leers wants to ensure that the Koninklijke Marechaussee (best translated as Royal Constabulary or military police) can continue to carry out mobile controls in the border area with Belgium and Germany.

The military police, who also serve at Dutch international airports, make a major contribution in combating cross-border crimes such as people smuggling, human trafficking, identity fraud, drug trafficking and money laundering.

The minister made his statement in response to recent rulings by the European Court of Justice and the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State. These courts judged that mobile controls in the border area are too similar to border controls, whereas controls at internal borders are no longer allowed within the so-called Schengen area. All three countries are initial signatories to the 1985 Schengen Accord which was incorporated into EU law in the 1990s and only sees international borders around the entire EU block of countries.

Confidence

Since the Administrative Jurisdiction Division's judgment at the end of last year, the Dutch military police have only detained illegal aliens with a criminal record, suspected of other criminal acts or who already have been declared undesirable aliens. Other illegal aliens merely had their identities checked and or their personal information recorded. They are later told to leave the Netherlands but are not detained.

Nevertheless, the Dutch Immigration minister attaches value to the Marechaussees carrying out random border area inspections, including the arrest of illegal aliens. For a number of reasons, Dutch authorities do not seem confident that controls work along parts of the EU external border.