08 November 2012

Dutch cabinet wants to limit Dutch Caribbean migration

THE HAGUE--The new Dutch Government is planning to regulate the registration of people from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten in The Netherlands.

This is stated in the Governing Accord the conservative VVD party and the Labour Party PvdA presented on Monday.

"Based on criteria that Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten have in place, including a test of a criminal record and income, we will come with a proposal to regulate the registration of residents from those countries in The Netherlands," it is stated in the accord.

The initiative to regulate the registration of people from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten comes from the VVD. Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament André Bosman of the VVD presented a law proposal in July to restrict the registration of people from the three overseas countries.

Bosman's law proposal states that people from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten must comply with a number of requirements before they can register at a municipality in The Netherlands.

The law, if approved by the Second Chamber, will require people from the three overseas countries to obtain residence permits. The residence permit would be denied if, among other things, a person does not speak sufficient Dutch, does not have sufficient income and a starting qualification/degree, or has a criminal record.

The PvdA objected to the law proposal initially. Member of Parliament Martijn van Dam of the PvdA stated in July that his party did not agree with differentiating among Dutch citizens based on their descent.

Van Dam said on Tuesday that it concerned a variation of registration requirements. He hoped for cooperation on this issue from the three overseas countries.

"We have always said that we find it unwise for young, poorly-educated Antilleans to come to The Netherlands without work. We have been looking for possibilities to prevent these youngsters from ending up in trouble here. The cabinet is now going to work on a variant for the registration requirements," he said.

According to Van Dam, there is a big difference between a registration prohibition and registration requirements. He said the plans of the new government have to do with requirements based on, for example, having a criminal record or not having a degree or work. "This comes close to our point of view that youngsters must complete a social formation programme before they can come to The Netherlands," he said.

MP Bosman said on Tuesday that he was happy with the statement in the Governing Accord. "It is too bad that Curaçao doesn't want to cooperate in the process to regulate the migration of poorly-educated citizens to The Netherlands. They don't want to discuss this issue, so we decided to take it upon ourselves to regulate this," he said.

Bosman received the advice on his law proposal from the Advisory Council recently. He said the Council's advice was being analysed. He hopes to submit the law proposal to the Second Chamber for handling by January 1, 2013.