American must integrate – after 20 years

An American man who has lived in Amsterdam for 20 years and writes speeches for Dutch firms has been told to take a compulsory integration course because he does not know what huursubsidie – housing benefit – is, the Parool reported at the weekend.

Don Seidenberg, who has an indefinite residency permit and speaks fluent Dutch, was ordered to report for a preliminary chat about taking an integration course a year ago.
But he failed to answer three questions correctly and has now been told he has to take the course because he does not know enough about official institutions.
As well as failing to understand housing benefit, Seidenberg – who owns his own home – wrongly stated he would look for work via internet websites rather than the state run CWI job centres. He also said he would help out on school trips rather than read stories out loud if asked to volunteer at his children’s school.
‘It is compulsory but no-one can tell me what will happen if I don’t turn up,’ he told the paper. ‘It is an exercise in time-wasting.’
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