Daniël Buter, a 19-year-old from Amsterdam, was put in prison because of a fault with his BSN. He has to appear before a court, which will decide if he will be deported to the Dominican Republic, a country Buter has never been to.
Buter was going to begin a degree in IT
Buter went to his local municipality to get a passport, which he needed in order to register for his study programme. The DJ was going to begin a degree in IT studies, but is now in prison because there is no proof of his Dutch nationality. After his visit, the municipality made a report to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service, who invited him for an interview. On the advice of his lawyer, Buter did not show up. He was then taken into police custody.
Two parties at fault: Buter’s parents and the Dutch government
Maroua Bensalah, Buter’s new legal advisor, says there are two reasons why Buter is in this situation: his parents and the Dutch government.
Buter’s parents went back to the Dominican Republic on holiday when he was only three years old, and never came back to the Netherlands. Buter’s proof of Dutch identity was linked to theirs- his citizenship was linked to their passports. However, they renounced their Dutch citizenship when they left. At that point, the BSN number Buter had been issued should have been registered as invalid. However, it was not, and Buter went through primary and high school without any trouble.
Buter’s grandmother tried to reregister him
This is not just a bureaucratic error: when Buter was in primary school, his grandmother, who was his primary care giver, asked the municipality what they should do about reregistering Buter at the municipality after his parents left the country. They just told her to continue using his old BSN, which should not have been possible to do, but was. Buter’s father, who now lives in Belgium, also tried to apply for a residence permit for his son in 2016, but did not provide the correct documents, so the application was denied. The same incorrect documents were submitted by Buter’s lawyer in the appeal, which did not help to speed up the process.
17,000 people have signed a petition to get Buter out of prison and recognised as the Dutchie he is
Buter’s friends have started a petition to at least allow Buter to wait for his trial at home rather than in prison, but to hopefully also get his nationality sorted once and for all. Currently, Buter is in a prison in Rotterdam, a facility that also houses criminals. At the time of writing, 17,000 people have signed the petition.
Let’s hope Buter gets to come home soon. Let us know what you thought of this story in the comments below.
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