AMSTERDAM—Stricter Dutch regulations governing the entry and forced removal from the Netherlands of young Antilleans seen as “problem youth” will go ahead, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk said on Tuesday as she dismissed the Antillean government’s protests.
After meeting with the Netherlands Antilles Prime Minister Etienne Ys—who demanded the Dutch government withdraw its plans—the Dutch minister said she could not be made to change her mind.
However, Verdonk told the Antillean leader she is prepared to discuss the implementation of her plans. She dismissed as “nonsense” claims from Ys the plans were discriminatory.
Verdonk also said it was legally permissible to impose separate entry procedures on a specific group of people, in this case Antillean and Aruban “risk youths”. These people are accused of turning to crime and abusing social welfare in the Netherlands.
Under the plans agreed by the Cabinet in May, Dutch judges will be given the authority to send Antillean youths who commit crimes back home.
Young Antilleans will only be allowed to stay in the Netherlands if they have work or study prospects within three months of arrival. The measure is aimed at youths aged 18 to 24. Unaccompanied minors with no guardian in the Netherlands will be refused entry.
Ys claims the plans could lead to “apartheid” and “raids” in Antillean districts in the Netherlands, but Verdonk rejected the criticism.
The Liberal VVD minister also rejected claims her plan violated human rights and created two sorts of Dutch people (continental Dutch and Antillean Dutch nationals). She said a parliamentary majority supported her proposals.
Ys said he had been given assurances the issue will be placed on the agenda at a ministerial council meeting on 24 June. He said his visit to the Netherlands was designed to clarify the Antilles’ standpoint.