12 July 2012
Following a foreign affairs ministry report criticizing the treatment of homosexuals in Iraq, Immigration Minister Gerd Leers has announced that they qualify for asylum in the Netherlands. In a briefing regarding the decision Leers noted that in order to qualify, individuals will have to prove that they are from Iraq.
8 May 2012
A report to the Dutch parliament from the advisory group on social development (RMO) has recommended the cessation of categorizing residents according to ethnicity and parental birth places, advising instead that only the birth place of the individual concerned be taken into record. The report advocates the elimination of terms such as niet-westerse allochtoon (non-western non-native) which signal heritage as ‘non-native’ for those with a parent born abroad. In response, integration minister Gerd Leers said that he favoured maintaining ethnic registration for the purposes of measuring the effect of government measures, such as interventions in employment and education.
MP Tofik Dibi of the Green Left has accused the Dutch government of inflating immigration statistics in order to justify their affiliation with the anti-immigration party PVV. Dibi told ANP, “It is bizarre. You would think ministers were pleased the figures were not as high as they make them out to be.”
The discussion centers around granting family reunification visas, the focus of new and increasingly strict immigration policy in the country. Immigration Minister Gerd Leers commented that 25,000 people were given visas in 2010 for family reunification, but as it turns out 4,000 of those visas were for babies born in the Netherlands to immigrants residing in the country. The current coalition government has pledged as a condition of its support from the PVV to reduce immigration from non-western countries by half.
7 October 2011
Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers, stated in a recent interview that “migration enriches our society”. The member of the Christian Democrats stated that a society which tries to curb immigration is “on the wrong track” and said that he regrets the anti-immigration political and social debate of the past years.
May 17 2011
A report from the Raad voor Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling (RMO) Social Development Council recommends that immigrants to the Netherlands should not be required by law to learn Dutch unless it is necessary for their employment. Further, the report suggests that the nation’s compulsory integration courses be replaced with lessons in democratic citizenship open to the public at large. The report was presented to immigration minister Gerd Leers and aims to lessen the ‘negative tone dominating the integration debate and the restrictive migration policy which stems from it’.
March 22 2011
Immigration minister Gerd Leers announced Tuesday that an estimated 400 Afghan girls living in the Netherlands must return to Afghanistan “even though they have become totally ‘westernized’”. Leers had been asked to find out how many girls faced deportation, and responded that of the women present in the country given asylum on claims they are at risk if they return to their home country, there are approximately 100 young girls who remain in the appeal process and a further 300 “have no right” to stay in the Netherlands.