Holland grants amnesty to more than 30,000 asylum-seekers

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Late in the evening of 30 November, more than 30,000 asylum-seekers were granted general amnesty by the recently elected Dutch parliament, according to recent news reports.

Seventy-five Dutch lawmakers voted in favor of the motion, while 74 MPs voted against it.

The bill allows all asylum-seekers who arrived in Holland before April 2001, to remain in the country.

The motion was backed by leftist parties, among them the Labor Party and the Socialist Party, while the ruling Christian Democrats, its junior coalition partner the liberal VVD, and the new Freedom Party opposed it.

Since the adoption of new immigration laws in 2001, the Netherlands has imposed tight restrictions on the number of newcomers, along with stricter requirements for most categories of immigration.

The implementation of stricter laws accelerated after elections in 2002 when 10% of voters backed the party of the anti-immigration candidate Pim Fortuyn, who was assassinated a few days before the vote.

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