Migrants to the Netherlands are unfairly treated, often being labelled as fraudsters when they make simple mistakes in applications. This leads to many asylum seekers missing out on benefits and even losing their Dutch residency in some cases.
Last week, scientists at Radboud University in Nijmegen published their findings in the Nederlands Juristenblad journal. They determined that the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) adhere to immigration laws too strictly. They drew comparisons between the treatment of migrants and the recent child benefit scandal, in which thousands of parents in the Netherlands were accused of making fraudulent childcare benefit claims.
No accounting for humanity
According to the researchers, the IND often label migrants as fraudsters when they submit incorrect or incomplete paperwork for their residence permit. Without legal status as a resident, it’s more difficult to work and obtain benefits for healthcare and rent. This has knock-on effects not only for those applying for residency but also the ones around them.
The Ombudsman for Children (an impartial complaints handler) already raised concerns over this issue, reports the NOS. She expressed her concern over potentially thousands of Dutch children being put in danger of poverty due to having a parent without a legal resident status.
How can we learn from this?
The chairman of the administrative law department said he wanted to learn from the failings of the child benefit affair. He also announced a review of previous rulings saying “we want to see whether there are disproportionate consequences for citizens in other areas, even if the law requires the judge to take strict action.”
What are your experiences with immigration processes in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments.
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