Dutch Asylum Minister Apologises for Comment on Excessive Migration From Afghanistan

© AFP 2022 / BAS CZERWINSKIPeople hold a banner reading "Stop the expulsions of people to unsafe Afghanistan" during a march, on February 18, 2018, in the centre of Utrecht, to protest against the deportation of refugees to Afghanistan
People hold a banner reading Stop the expulsions of people to unsafe Afghanistan during a march, on February 18, 2018, in the centre of Utrecht, to protest against the deportation of refugees to Afghanistan - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Dutch State Secretary for Justice and Security (Minister for Migration) Ankie Broekers-Knol apologised for using a hypothetical number to indicate the number of Afghan refugees who could potentially head for the Netherlands, media reported on Monday.
In an interview with the Algemeen Dagblad daily, the minister said that 100,000 Afghan refugees could be potentially coming to the Netherlands based on 23,000 emails sent to a foreign ministry hotline for people seeking help with evacuation from Afghanistan.

"The message was that if the requests for help via email lead to 100,000 new asylum seekers, that our system would not be able to cope ... I should not have used this hypothetical number", the minister said in an apology, as quoted by the DutchNews portal.

Broekers-Knol also apologised for saying that intelligentsia people who are attempting to flee Afghanistan are adding to the country's "brain-drain," which was the term the Taliban* used to keep people from leaving the country.
The Netherlands has welcomed 1,897 Afghans since the Taliban* takeover in mid-August, but only about 1,000 of them were enrolled in the asylum process.
In August, Broekers-Knol was criticised for being among the officials of EU member states who urged the bloc to authorise the deportation of Afghan refugees. The measure was scrapped after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, and the Netherlands enacted a six-month ban on Afghan deportations.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries
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