LPF plans Dutch nationality crackdown
2 April 2004
AMSTERDAM — Political debate continues to rage in The Hague over immigration and the populist LPF threw its hat in the ring on Friday by demanding that only Dutch nationals be allowed to receive social security and WAO worker disability payments.
The LPF also said immigrants should in future have employment or a high income-earning Dutch partner in order to permanently settle in the Netherlands, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The populist party, founded by assassinated anti-immigration campaigner Pim Fortuyn, also said immigrants should only be allowed to obtain Dutch nationality if they have lived for 10 years in the Netherlands.
It said immigrants should also have been legally employed for seven years, must not have a criminal record and must successfully complete an integration exam to obtain a Dutch passport.
Current requirements mean that foreigners can obtain Dutch nationality if they have lived in the Netherlands continually for five years or have lived with their Dutch partner for three years. The immigrant must also demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Dutch language and culture.
Under LPF plans, an immigrant who obtains Dutch nationality will be on a probation basis for five years and will be forced to sign a contract obligating him or her to obey Dutch laws. The contract will also stipulate that the new citizen agrees to treat both men and women, homosexual and heterosexual, equally.
It said a “breach of contract” will result in deportation. Like the government party Christian Democrat CDA, the LPF is also proposed scrapping the possibility of immigrants maintaining dual nationality.
The LPF also said travel restrictions should be imposed on asylum seekers. If they travel back to their land of origin, the asylum request should be rejected. Asylum seekers will also be subjected to strong integration demands.
And according to LPF MP and former immigration minister Hilbrand Nawijn, the government’s present minorities policy — including subsides for Turkish and Moroccan groups — should be abolished. His party said the Netherlands needed to become a society again, requiring a massive revision of integration policy. “We must begin with a clean slate,” Nawijn said.
The LPF also said it wanted to reduce the number of satellite TV dishes in the large cities – a very common feature in areas popular with the Turkish community – because watching foreign TV broadcasts “is bad for integration”.
Liberal VVD Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk will present new legislative proposals to the Parliament shortly and every Dutch political party is streamlining their policies in expectation of the legislative debate.
Among a series of steps to crackdown on immigration and stimulate social cohesion, the coalition Cabinet has proposed enforcing family unification migrants to complete integration courses in their land of origin before they arrive in the country.
It will also demand Dutch partners earn 120 percent of the minimum wage and be aged 21. The proposed minimum age is in line with EU regulations.
The government recently passed legislation paving the way for the deportation of 26,000 refugees to clear a backlog of asylum requests with the immigration service IND. The “amnesty” gave 2,300 long-term asylum seekers a residence permit.
The three major Dutch political parties — government parties the Christian Democrat CDA and VVD, plus main opposition party Labour PvdA — have recently released or are currently revising immigration policies.
A CDA workgroup has proposed allowing more skilled expats in the country — as did the PvdA. But both parties are keen to restrict the inflow of low educated migrants or streamline restrictions governing the entry of family unification migrants.
The VVD also unveiled plans recently to restrict family unification migration and extend the amount of time before immigrants can claim social security benefits. It is on record for its opposition to the entry of more expat workers.
But Democrat D66 Economic Affairs Minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst has said the Netherlands is suffering economically because it is too restrictive on skilled labour migration. He called for a policy directly related to the transfer of knowledge.
[Copyright Expatica News + Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news