Expatica news

CDA opposes dual nationality

29 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Christian Democrat CDA party has proposed scrapping the right of immigrants to hold two passports, claiming that it hinders integration.

According to the CDA proposal, any foreigner who takes out Dutch citizenship must surrender the citizenship of their country of origin. They will also be requested to hand in their old passport.

“The keeping of two passports hinders the integration of immigrants. You are not a real, complete Dutch person because you also have another passport at your disposal,” CDA MP Mirjam Sterk. The CDA is in government with the Liberal VVD and Democrat D66 parties.

The MP also said that the ruling government party believes that dual nationality is too often abused: “Dutch citizenship often gives more rights than the nationality of another country”. She said some immigrants try and use the benefits of both passports.

About 65 percent of new immigrants possess dual nationality and the government resolved in 1998 to reduce that number. But the scheme has never been re-evaluated and Sterk said the crackdown had obviously failed.

The CDA has previously raised concerns about second and third generation Moroccan and Turkish immigrants obtaining passports via their parents and demanded that Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk respond to its concerns.

Furthermore, integration and immigration are hot topics on the Dutch public agenda at present, with the government successfully reducing the number of asylum seekers in recent years. It also hopes to reduce the flow of family unification migrants from Morocco and Turkey.

Concerns over ethnic crime and figures that indicate immigrants feature prominently in violent crimes has also led to a community backlash.

Integration through compulsory Dutch language and culture lessons is seen as the key to help harmonise society’s polarisation. But efforts will not stop there as the government seeks ways to smooth the waters and ease friction between the native and non-native population.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news