There are around 26,000 immigrants in the Netherlands who arrived under the old alien act, who were destined for deportation under the former government.
Many of these migrants had been in the Netherlands for years, spoke Dutch, had Dutch partners and children, and very often had jobs or businesses here. I know TV shows the most extreme cases but one man (originally from China) was profiled as having run the only Chinese restaurant in a small town here for more than a decade, he was married to a Chinese-Dutch woman, and they had two sons. He spoke perfect, although accented Dutch.
I’m not pro-illegal immigration, and what he did initially was wrong. But in deciding how to solve the situation you must look at the whole situation, and you must ask “what would deporting him solve?”
Thankfully it seems that the current government is taking a much more pragmatic approach, and has announced to EU members that there will be an amnesty – details are still being worked out.
I’m already pleased that they’ve announced this step, and I look forward to seeing the details.