Immigration minister Rita Verdonk has attacked GreenLeft MP Naïma Azough for having two passports. During a debate on nationality on Wednesday night, Verdonk asked Azough why she did not ‘set a good example’ and give up her Moroccan passport.
‘I do not understand why you don’t say: I think the Netherlands is the most important to me,’ said Verdonk. ‘This is me,’ Azough replied, waving her two passports at the minister. Having a Moroccan passport said ‘nothing’ about her Dutch nationality, she added. Labour MP Jeroen Dijsselbloem criticised Verdonk. ‘It is not appropriate to measure up a Dutch MP and ask if she has enough Dutch roots,’ he said.
The cabinet believes that people who become naturalised should give up their old nationalities. It argues that keeping dual nationalities hinders integration. People born in the Netherlands to non-Dutch parents have to apply to become Dutch when they reach the age of 18.
Verdonk has bowed to MPs’ pressure and agreed to ammend the law so that children born to a Dutch mother and foreign father before 1985 would be considered Dutch. Until 1985, Dutch nationality was only passed through fathers.
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