Márcia Ventura, the first-year EUR student who was apprehended just before she was due to start her law studies and who faced deportation, has been granted a residence permit after all. State Secretary for Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff has exercised his authority to award a permit to the Angolan girl, who has lived in the Netherlands since the age of five.

Her younger brother Gláucio (13), who was born here, and their mother will also be permitted to remain in the Netherlands. Only the father of the family will be made to return to Angola. He is a former member of the Angolan army and may have been involved in war crimes. That past was also the reason why Márcia and Gláucio had previously not been eligible for the children’s amnesty.

‘EUR’s involvement played a role’
Lawyer Corrien Ullersma is not entirely clear as to why the state secretary suddenly changed his mind. ‘It was certainly not the first time that Dijkhoff reviewed the case,’ Márcia’s lawyer told EM. ‘The high level of public indignation may have tipped the balance. And the fact that an institution like Erasmus University used its best endeavours on Márcia’s behalf also played a role.’

The family had spent the past few days in a detention centre in Zeist, but have since returned to Gilze-Rijen, where they had been living before their arrest.