Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mauro Campaign: The Ticking Time Bomb Under Dutch Coalition?

Dutch politics has been discussing wether an 18 year old boy, Mauro, who lives with his non-recognized foster parents, should be sent back to Angola. Miriam Mannak, a blogger born in the Netherlands who grew up in Rwanda and Angola, writes down her feelings about this.
Mauro won a case in a lower Dutch court which based it's decision on the right to family life, article 8 of ECHR.  However, the highest Dutch court in immigration cases, the Raad van State overruled this decision and claimed that this lower court went beyond what it was supposed to do.

Mauro is/was the posterchild of the "we stay" campaign by defense for children that footballed with members of the majority of Dutch parliament june 23, days after this decision by the highest Dutch court. The Christian Democratic spokesperson for immigration, Raymond Knops who is from same province as Mauro (Limburg), footballed with him that day and said: "Mauro should stay".

The dynamics of the Mauro campaign are explained in this excellent article. A hard battle for media attention, which allmost failed september 22 when the late night show Pauw & Witteman decided at the last minute to not let him on. Through pressure on twitter Mauro and his foster parents got on the show anyway.

@carlavanos lawyer children rights and migration at Defense for Children, heads the campaign. This week the campaign picked up major endorsements by the Dutch Child Ombudsman who mentioned Mauro in relation to a nationwide poster campaign which takes off next week.

This week the Mauro campaign received support of twelve law Professors concerning his right to family life. Historian and blogger Jan Dirk Snel tells minister Gert Leers what in this case should be "the right thing to do".  Priests and pastors in the Catholic and largest Protestant Churches voiced their support for the Mauro campaign this weekend.

On friday the Mauro campaign received the support of popular tv personality Gerard Joling:
"@gerardjoling Oke mijn FF voor deze vrijdag is zonder enige twijvel: gr Geer"
Christian Democrats sofar have been unable to disarm the ticking time bomb which the campaign for Mauro has placed under the internal unity of their party and the stability of the CDA/VVD coalition government backed by anti-immigrant/anti-muslim PVV of Geert Wilders. The CDA party congress this weekend became the Mauro congress. The Mauro campaign won a major victory at this CDA congress while it adopted the following resolution:
"Today’s Dutch Christian Democrat party conference has adopted a resolution calling for a “humane policy” towards unaccompanied underage asylum seekers. The motion was backed by 85 percent of the attending party members. "
Two members of the CDA faction in parliament have allready said that the outcome of the congress reconfirms their position that Mauro should say. This underlines the fact that unity has not been restored, contrary to what CDA and vice-premier minister Maxime Verhagen claims.
Last week Parliament debated on Mauro a wole day and night and next tuesday Mauro will be discussed in parliament again.
To support Mauro and others like him, sign the petition and follow @mauromagblijven (over 40.000 followers in one week)

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