05:44 GMT14 August 2020
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - A Belgian draft bill, that would allow authorities to enter people's homes to find undocumented migrants, seeks to deport only those who have already been denied their asylum request in Belgium, Olivier Chastel, the president of the Reformist Movement (MR), which is a part of the Belgian coalition government, said Thursday.

    "This bill does not seek to drive out the people without papers… We grant refugee status to 15,000 people every year and a great number of humanitarian visas, for three years now. But there is a policy of return for those who were rejected. The bill in question is a missing link that would allow to effectively send back to their countries those who were not granted these demands and who do not correspond to the relevant criteria," Chastel told RTL broadcaster.

    READ MORE: Half-Dozen Iraqi Refugees in Belgium Suspected of Having Links to Daesh

    The head of the party stressed that the law would not apply to the individuals hosting the migrants, adding that the authors of the legislation were open to suggestions and criticism.

    The draft bill has proved controversial, with the debates for and against the law dividing Belgian society. The town councils of Forest and Schaerbeek communes in the Brussels-Capital Region have this week approved motions against the prospective law.

    Christine Defraigne, the head of the Senate, said Monday on Twitter that the constitution guaranteed the inviolability of homes, adding that the MR group in the province of Liege wanted to check the draft law to see if it complied with the constitution.

    READ MORE: At Least 60% of Belgians Believe There are 'Too Many' Refugees in the Country

    The government's new project follows an earlier initiative to tackle illegal migration — a partnership with Sudan on sending back migrants originating from the African country. However, the project backfired when some of the deported Sudanese alleged they were tortured upon return to their home country.


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