Minister acts on ‘back-door’ immigration

MPs have given their backing to a move by junior justice minister Nebahat Albayrak aimed at stopping non-European immigrants coming into the Netherlands via Belgium.

Albayrak wants to close a loophole in European Union law which allows Dutch nationals who live in another European country to bring their non-European spouse and other family members to the Netherlands.
EU legislation covering the immigration of non-EU nationals is less strict than Dutch, which imposes age and financial restrictions on immigrants from non-western countries.
Last year the national statistics office CBS said that there were only some dozens of cases of this sort of family reunification.
But in November, Albayrak said there had been 490 such relationships in 2007.
This figure also includes many immigrants from countries such as the US, the Volkskrant points out on Wednesday.
To reduce so-called back-door immigration, Albayrak wants a European registration system for family reunification.
But the minister said the loophole can only be closed properly ‘with uniform European entry rules’. ‘We are working hard on that,’ the minister told Trouw.

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