Tech & Rights

Belgian Immigration Authorities Want to Legalize Police Raids on Homes

The Belgian Immigration Office has requested the authority, without needing a warrant, to send police to raid private homes where undocumented individuals are believed to be staying.

by Belgian League of Human Rights

The shocking announcement that Belgian immigration authorities are seeking the ability to raid homes without a warrant in an effort to find undocumented persons represents new and overwhelming evidence of the security agenda of the Belgian migration policy. This announcement is all the more troubling because it emanates not from the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration but from the administration.

If this proposal is approved, it would seriously undermine the sanctity of the home, as provided for in Article 15 of the Constitution: "The home is inviolable; the home penetration may take place only in the cases provided by law and in the manner prescribed."

So far, only an independent judge could grant a warrant allowing police to enter a home. The need to secure a warrant is a fundamental guarantee against the risk of abuse or arbitrary decisions by the police. The Immigration Office bases its request on the fact that, according to them, judges don't want to take this type of decision. Rather than wonder about a possible malfunction of justice, it proposes to amend the law on police procedures in the worst possible way.

Let's not beat around the bush. If this request is met, it would be nothing less than the announcement of legalized raids.

The repressive policy on migration, as announced in the coalition agreement, is worrying. It now becomes totally unacceptable.

It is urgent for both the government and the population to be aware of the serious regression on fundamental rights that this type of measure represents.

That is why it makes us think to the poem by Martin Niemöller:

When they came for the Jews

I did not speak out -

Because I was not a Jew.

When they came for the Communists

I did not speak out -

Because I was not a Communist.

When they came for the trade unionists

I did not speak out -

Because I was not a trade unionist.

And when they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak for me….