The use of the word allochtoon (literally non-native) is misleading and should perhaps be stopped, justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin told radio show De Ochtenden on Monday.
‘I do not like the way this definition divides our country into two and creates a contrast between non-natives and natives,’ Hirsch Ballin was reported as saying by news agency ANP.
‘If we continue speaking as if our country is divided… we are only making things worse,’ the minister said.
According to the Van Dale dictionary, allochtoon means migrant, foreigner or alien. However, the word is mainly used to describe non-western immigrants and their children.
There have been several efforts to eradicate the word, which has a negative ring for many immigrants, particularly those born in the Netherlands.
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