Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.
A report from The Daily Herald.
Despite the opposition of several parties in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, the Party for Freedom PVV continues the process to handle an initiative law proposal to expel persons of the Dutch Caribbean countries from the Netherlands once they have committed a crime.
It concerns a law proposal that dates to October 2014, which the PVV initiators decided to move forward with despite objections of the Council of State, multiple political parties, Dutch Caribbean organisations in the Netherlands and the Governments of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten.
Fritsma and De Graaf, clearly not impressed by the objections, made clear in their answers provided to Parliament they will not follow the advice of the Council of State to reconsider and even withdraw the law proposal.
The Labour Party PvdA referred to the advice of the Council of State that the law proposal contained discriminatory elements and stated that the over-representation of Dutch Caribbean persons in crime statistics was no justification for this law proposal.
“The doubts of the Council of State regarding the justification of the law are not shared by the initiators,” stated Fritsma and De Graaf in their reply to the concerns expressed by the PvdA and other parties, especially the Democratic Party D66 and the Socialist party (SP).
“The crime among Antilleans in the Netherlands is so high that it endangers the public order. Considering this and the failed measures in the past, the law is not in violation of the norms of equality and the prohibition of discrimination,” the PVV MPs stated.
Fritsma and De Graaf accused the PvdA and SP of being “hypocrite” by objecting to the proposed expulsion law, because these parties “never opposed similar regulations” that Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten have to expel Dutch persons who have committed a crime on the islands.
The D66 posed questions of a legal nature and asked whether the law proposal was compatible with the undivided Dutch citizenship within the Kingdom, the strict guidelines of the European Union (EU) regarding expulsion, the principle of equality and prohibition of discrimination.
“The fact that all citizens of the Kingdom of the Netherlands have the Dutch nationality doesn’t mean that there can’t be deviating rules for the residents of the different parts,” replied Fritsma and De Graaf.
Addressing another concern of D66, the MPs stated that the objective of the law proposal was to protect the public order in the Netherlands, and that a sliding scale whereby the speed of the expulsion depended on the severity of the crime and the time of residency in the Netherlands, was a good instrument to enforce public safety.
Responding to a question of the reformed Christian party SGP why the initiators had not opted for a Kingdom law, Fritsma and De Graaf stated that for a Kingdom law, the consent of the Parliaments of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten was needed.
The MPs pointed out that past Ministers of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations had already discussed the option of a Kingdom law to regulate the traffic of persons within the Kingdom with the islands, but that these efforts had yielded no result. “Therefore, we cannot count on the support of the Dutch Caribbean Parliaments to develop a Kingdom law. That is why we have opted for a national law.”
Asked by the SGP how this proposed legislation differed from the past initiative law proposal of MP André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party to establish a residency regulation for immigrants from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, Fritsma and De Graaf stated that their proposal was “much stricter.” The so-called Bosman law proposal never made it because it was voted down in the Second Chamber.
“Under the Bosman law proposal only very severe crimes can have consequences for the right to residency of Antilleans in the Netherlands, while in this proposed legislation of the initiators every crime can have consequences,” explained the MPs.
They also noted that the Bosman law proposal dealt with the admittance of Dutch Caribbean persons to the Netherlands, while their proposed legislation concerned persons from the countries who are already living in the Netherlands. The current law proposal only concerns first generation Dutch Caribbean persons, those who were born on the islands, and not the second-generation persons.
The PVV law proposal is also stricter than the 2007 law proposal of former Minister of Integration Affairs Rita Verdonk, because the latter proposal only concerned youngsters of Dutch Caribbean descent. The PVV law proposal affects Dutch Caribbean persons of all ages. “That is why it is more effective to fight crime.”
Responding to a remark of the Group Kuzu/Öztürk about the discriminatory effect, Fritsma and De Graaf stated they didn’t see a problem when the Netherlands “sent back criminal Antilleans, when Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten also expelled Dutch persons.”
The PvdA wanted to know why the PVV didn’t opt to reduce crime and over-representation in crime statistics in “another manner than via a discriminatory law to expel.” The PVV MPs argued that the Dutch Government has initiated different attempts to reduce crime and over-representation in an alternative manner. “However, none of these attempts resulted in an effective solution.”
The SP asked how the assumption of the PVV applied to the entire group of Dutch Caribbean persons. The initiators of the law proposal recognised that surely not the entire group was criminal, but fact is that according to crime statistics, persons from the Dutch Caribbean countries were over-represented in violent crimes, violations of public order, traffic and drugs offences. The PVV considered the hint that everyone from the islands was criminal a “false accusation.”
If there are no further questions for the initiators, the law proposal will be readied for plenary handling. It is unlikely the law proposal will receive sufficient support from the Second Chamber because so many parties are against.
If that proves to be the case, the law proposal will die a silent death, and another attempt to make a distinction between those with Dutch citizenship from the islands and those born in the Netherlands snuffed out.