(DCWatchdog.com) – In an action that millions of Americans believe could happen in the United States, the Dutch government has collapsed following a deadlock over how to handle the unprecedented influx of illegal immigrant asylum-seekers into the country.
This political crisis stemmed from an inability to agree on the conservative VVD party’s strategy, led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, to implement measures to curtail the number of immigrants coming into the Netherlands, including proposals that could split up refugee families.
After the collapse, Rutte, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, submitted his resignation, although he will stay on until his successor is appointed.
Rutte stated at a press conference, “It is no secret that the coalition partners have very different views on migration policy. And today, unfortunately, we have to draw the conclusion that those differences are irreconcilable.” He added, “That is why I will immediately … offer the resignation of the entire Cabinet to the king in writing.”
The implosion came after two days of intensive late-night meetings among the coalition about the complex immigration issue, which has significantly strained the country’s already burdened housing system.
The coalition, comprising four parties, had spent several months attempting to forge an agreement to manage the sharp increase in the number of migrants seeking asylum, including individuals from various African countries and Ukraine.
Proposals considered by the coalition included establishing two types of asylum — one temporary for those escaping conflicts and a permanent one for individuals fleeing persecution, and a limit to the number of family members who could join asylum-seekers in the Netherlands.
Rutte advocated for a contentious proposal that would restrict the arrival of war refugees’ children already in the Netherlands and necessitate a waiting period of two years before families could be reunited.
However, centrist parties D66 and Christian Union rejected the proposal, believing it was overly strict and dismissing all plans that encouraged a hardline approach to immigration.
After multiple unfruitful sessions, the parties unanimously agreed that a resolution was unattainable and could not continue functioning together as a coalition.
Even though Rutte’s coalition has dissolved, it will still govern until the next election, which, according to the ANP news agency, might not take place until mid-November at the earliest.
Immigration will remain a key issue in the forthcoming election cycle.
According to the country’s statistics office, the Netherlands saw more than 21,500 non-Europeans seeking asylum in 2022. This year, the number of asylum applications is expected to exceed 70,000, setting a new record.
The previous year, due to overcrowding, the country’s reception center had to reject refugees, leaving them to endure harsh conditions outdoors, with limited access to essentials like clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, and health care.