The Netherlands has stepped up the monitoring of traffic crossing its frontiers, a government minister said on Monday, as countries across Europe move to tighten border controls in response to an unprecedented migration crisis.
The move follows a decision last September to deploy mobile border guard units along roads and railways lines to intercept migrants and separate them from asylum seekers.
“Those measures helped, but we were still seeing a rising number of smugglers being arrested, and you are seeing more people coming from safe countries, who aren’t eligible for asylum,” state secretary Klaas Dijkhoff told reporters.
The Netherlands received 200,000 immigrants last year, which fueled a backlash against immigration in a country that was once known for the generosity of its open-borders policy. In the 1960s, a period of high growth, the country opened its borders to migrant workers from Turkey and Morocco.