Mrs. F., of Guinean origin, has been living for 18 years in the United States. She legally stays there, rents an apartment, and works in New York.
On 03/07, she lands in Belgium with her two daughters aged 11 and 12, to visit her uncle and other members of her family. She has 4000 euros in her pocket, her credit card, her refugee passport released in the United States and all return tickets, expected in early September. Yet the holidays fall short… F. and her two daughters were arrested under the pretext of lack of visa, even though she is in possession of documents proving that she did not need a visa to enter Belgium. But the Border Police did not listen: after 6 hours waiting at the airport, she is taken alone to Caricole, while her uncle takes her daughters at home. The Immigrants Office wants F. to return to the US without her daughters! In addition to this absurd and inhuman confinement, which deprives her daughters (they were able to visit her only once since her detention), she is treated as a criminal, led handcuffed to the hearings in the Palace of Justice… She does not want to be separated from her daughters and has arranged, at her expenses, to change the return ticket for her daughters to return together to the US.
The General Delegate of children’s rights has been warned since the beginning of the arrest of F., and name and phone number of F. have been communicated. One answer on 13/07 states: “The family (mother and children) left the Caricole last week to be transferred back home.” and a second message on 19/07 “I finally managed to get information about this mother and her children. We call the Immigration Department about the situation for more news”. The DG children’s rights have been very ineffective in this case.
And why? Why this eagerness of the Border Police and the Immigration Department, which, despite all good sense, and even beyond all understanding, separates children from their mother and detains a woman who clearly was tourist visiting her family in Belgium. A woman who is about to ask, even this year, the US citizenship: why mistreat her inflicting these degrading treatment, furthermore at the expenses of the Belgian State?!! F. may not have the “right” color, the one needed not to arouse suspicion of Border Police?
Examples of this type (http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/racism-at-our-borders-11072016/) have multiplied in recent months. It is time to end these arbitrary arrests. Is this part of the new “special cell of fraud among asylum seekers”, founded in March 2016 by Mr. Francken, that the Border Police at the airport stops and locks outsiders in order for asylum or regularization and returning from vacation? http://nieuws.vtm.be/binnenland/181159-speciale-cel-tegen-fraude-bij-asielzoekers
Testimony of the same testimony of a mother with her two children in 2014: http://www.gettingthevoiceout.org/mother-and-two-legal-children-deported-11122014/