Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lifted off: Expatica

Newcomers and settled immigrants will be forced to successfully pass an integration examination to prove they have integrated into Dutch society.

The law is primarily aimed at non-EU family unification immigrants — especially those from Turkey and Morocco — who will be required to complete a basic integration test in their country of origin before arriving in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is the first country in the world to demand permanent immigrants complete a pre-arrival integration course. US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and Japanese nationals are exempted from the pre-arrival courses.

The changes come on the back of a Cabinet decision in March requiring Dutch residents earn at least 120 percent of the minimum wage before being allowed to bring their foreign partner into the country. Both the partner and Dutch resident must also be aged at least 21.

Moving on, the Cabinet agreed on 23 April that after arriving in the country, a newcomer must report back to the local council after six months to monitor their integration progress. Authorities will determine when they will be assessed again. Those who fail to report will be fined.

If the immigrant wants to be compensated for course costs, they must pass the integration exam within three years. If a newcomer has failed to integrate after five years, they will be fined.

Asylum seekers will only be obligated to integrate once they have gained their first temporary residence permit. Antilleans and Arubans will also be obliged to integrate.

A residence permit for an indefinite period can only be obtained once a foreigner has passed an integration exam.

Settled immigrants will also be required to complete the integration exam except those who have already gained relevant diplomas.

The Cabinet asserts that about 450,000 settled immigrants have a language deficiency and should thus be forced to integrate.

Two groups are identified: social security recipients and jobless residents who do not receive social security (mainly disadvantaged ethnic women). Councils will purchase courses for the latter group and ask the participant for a small fee.


This illustrates something to me. Something about the growing intolerance in this country and the growth of racism and oppression when it comes to migrants of third world or "colored" countries.

Does this imply that migrants coming from first world nations are likely to integrate better than migrants from a third world land?

Albert verlinde, Boulevard talkshow host made an astute comment last night on the rise of racism and judgmentalism in this country. How a person with an obviously "allochtoon" appearance is much more likely to be picked up by the police, given a fine and asked to identify himself as compared to a person who looks just like every other white Dutchman.

So, I question once again whether the problem lies only on the migrant side when society itself no longer allows the migrant room to breath.


Something else that made me think too was a comment made by someone on tv regarding Rita Verdonk's ambitions with regards to leadership of the VVD as well as with regards to premiership.

So yes, this country doesn't want extreme right in government, but neither do we want a heartless person like Rita Verdonk to become head honcho of this little country. After all, this is one steel hearted Mama who has turned asylum seekers out into the streets, who separates families with her stubborn adherence to "the law is the law, and we are not allowing any more migrants into this country".

NOVA a Dutch television news program showed clips of Verdonk's opening speech...they mounted this clips alongside video footage of Pim Fortuyn...and it was very weird because I could swear they were saying almost exactly the same things...except some words were switched around. Which doesn't make me feel any more sympathetic towards Verdonk, because who wants a copycat politician who copies the speeches of dead and almost sainted politicians? I thought it was in bad taste.

So does she aspire to be the next Pim Fortuyn? She didn't say so in very many words, but you could read the ambition on her lips...and in those cold, cold, eyes.

And why oh why is it that I feel she is so very, very, very fake and in it for the power boost.

There I am then sitting up in bed almost one o'clock in the morning, exclaiming to my husband, she's so fake, she's so fake and saying something I never thought I'd say...that at least I knew Pim believed in what he was saying and he said what came out of his own mind, whereas Rita hasn't got an original bone in her body.

Nova closed with a shot of Rita's former teacher saying, "I think she's thrown too much hay on her fork."

What that means? Well, Rita can't have her former teacher deported because he is a natural born Dutch and he looks very much like a white Dutchman.


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