What do the political parties want from asylum and immigration policy and how convincing are those plans? Culture under Fire went through the election programs. With an eye on the November 22 elections, below you will find the parties' immigration and asylum plans briefly summarized and assessed for credibility.
Importance of the Netherlands
Belang van Nederland (BVNL) is clear in its approach to immigration. If it were up to that party, there would be a asylum freeze as soon as possible. The 1951 asylum treaty will be denounced. The Dublin Regulation will be restored: i.e., no more asylum seekers passing through here from other EU shores. Illegality is criminalized, with active deportation. Labor migration is curbed.
First of all, the BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB) wants to get rid of the overloading of the northern provinces with asylum seekers: in other words, a better distribution across the country. Priority arrangements for asylum seekers at the expense of Dutch citizens, for example in getting a house, should be abolished. BBB is pushing for a (flexible) asylum quota of 15,000 immigrants a year. At the same time, Frontex (the European agency guarding the external borders) will be more heavily empowered and its manpower increased by a factor of ten. The BBB wants strict compliance with the Dublin Regulation, so no transit to the Netherlands from elsewhere in the EU. The BBB also wants a sharp distinction (with controls) between political and economic refugees. The outdated, totally ineffective 1951 UN Refugee Convention must be renewed and, if necessary, denounced. The same goes for other relevant treaties.
About the CDA we can be brief. It says it wants to tackle human smuggling, but the problem of asylum seekers could only be solved in a "broad European asylum package." This shifting away to the EU and the fact that the party also proposes to invest in COA and IND indicates that for the CDA, immigration must continue, and there is no urgency in that party to put a stop to it.
The same, but worse, applies to the Christian Union. The urgency for addressing immigration problem is completely lacking, the party does not even want any curbs on "family reunification," although this is a known driver of improper immigration. The party also does not want to distinguish between political refugees (who left for the sake of life) and others. In fact, the CU considers continuing immigration so important that the party wants to create a Central Planning Bureau on Migration and - tellingly - transfer the migration portfolio from Justice to the benefits ministry of Social Affairs.
D66 is pro-migration, and wants to align with EU policy in this as much as possible. The party says it wants a better ('fairer') distribution across countries and also "more secure routes" that should lead to "a stable and robust reception chain." If it is up to D66, the bed of future asylum seekers is thus spread. The fact that the party says it wants to be "strict" with hopeless asylum seekers does not seem very convincing and is more like lip service to the increasing number of D66 members who are scratching their heads when it comes to immigration.
As to be expected from a native-born party of Islamic bent, DENK says it stands "for a humanitarian and generous asylum policy." Incidentally, the party wants to ban the term "allochtoon," but then again favors immigrants at the expense of native Dutch through the introduction of "diversity quotas," particularly "at the top of large corporations," where the light-skinned segment of the population, in DENK's view, is still insufficiently represented. Dutch people who, for whatever reason, prefer not to hire immigrants, the party wants to trap them in discrimination via "bait applications" and then, of course, punish them severely. In particular, the party advocates the "contact penalty" in which Dutch people are required to "get in touch with the group of people they have discriminated against." As if making distinctions in the "diversity" so advocated by DENK could not be motivated precisely by experience.
Forum for Democracy
Forum for Democracy (FvD) wants to make reception in the region and return to country of origin the starting point of asylum policy. Asylum may then no longer be sought in the Netherlands itself. FvD wants the restoration of border controls and the cancellation of annoying treaties such as the UN Refugee Convention and Schengen. The party rejects the Asylum Torture Act, as well as the mandatory placement of AZCs. The "asylum industry" must be dismantled: no more free legal aid, there must be an end to hopeless asylum procedures and periodic penalty payments. Illegality becomes punishable. In case of criminal behavior, dual passport holders will be deprived of the NL passport. The party also wants to introduce a GreenCard based on the American model for temporary work permits. These must be issued in the interests of the Dutch economy and society, and only to people who can be expected to fit into Dutch society. There will be a naturalization freeze of at least 10 years, with new passports only for newly born Dutch citizens or marriage partners. In addition, an asylum freeze of at least 10 years "with room for some exceptions for political asylum, such as for Julian Assange and Edward Snowden."
GroenLinks-PvdA unimpressively portrays itself as an immigrationist party combination, seeking only to "manage" asylum and immigration. That is, "irregular migration" (probably meant "illegal") is to be opposed in favor of "regular, safe routes." Moreover: "the individual right to asylum remains unimpaired." Indeed, "refugees" must be "actively invited," especially "LGBTQIA+ persons." Certainly GL-PvdA does not want people sent back at the EU's external borders. Refugees should be distributed "proportionally" among countries. In the Netherlands, the asylum chain must be "put in order" and refugees "fairly" distributed.
JA21 wants to make the Dutch interest leading in immigration policy. This requires a sharp curtailment of labor migration, family migration and study migration, to be achieved with an asylum freeze and border control. The party wants no forced dispersal law and a total revision of asylum policy to the Danish asylum model. The Netherlands must "take back control of this from Brussels," criminalize illegality and introduce sanctions against countries of origin that refuse to take back nationals. It must also put a stop to the "heavily subsidized" asylum industry. Noteworthy: JA21 wants failed integration to be followed by forced "remigration." JA21 is one of the few parties that dare to use this tricky term.
New Social Contract
New Social Contract (NSC) immediately opts for a "balance of migration" of 50,000 immigrants per year. That means that a city the size of Middelburg will be added every year. This does not show a sense of urgency, but NSC thinks this will keep the total population of the Netherlands below 20 million for the time being. Whereas the ChristenUnie proposed a Central Planning Bureau, NSC even wants a Minister for Migration Policy. Like virtually all parties, NSC pays lip service to "control of" and "more grip on" migration flows, but when it comes to labor migration, the Netherlands has simply "agreed to the free movement of workers in the EU," although this must be "managed in better ways" "by better enforcing existing laws and regulations." In short, no drastic intervention in migration policy seems to be expected from NSC.
Party for the Animals
The Party for the Animals takes an outright immigrationist stance. Asylum seekers are welcome, especially "climate refugees." To this end, the party wants to push for "more safe and legal escape routes and the use of humanitarian passages." Migrants are to be distributed "fairly" among EU countries and "the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) quota is to be increased."
Party for Freedom
As to be expected, the Freedom Party (PVV) does not speak with flour in its mouth when it comes to mass immigration. Asylum freeze, denouncing EU regulations and UN Refugee Convention. Border control, including returning asylum seekers trying to enter the Netherlands from neighboring countries. Criminalization of illegality and its enforcement. Criminal asylum seekers are detained and deported, status holders lose their residence permits. No forced dispersal law. Status holders who go on vacation to country of origin lose their residence permits immediately. Ban on dual nationality and headscarves in government buildings, including parliament. And of course, "The Netherlands is not an Islamic country," therefore "no Islamic schools, Korans and mosques."
While the SP was once one of the first parties to be critical of immigration, there is little evidence of that now. "People who have no right to stay here should go back as soon as possible," but this open door is all that remains. Furthermore, the party mainly emphasized that refugees "have the right to a safe and humane shelter," although asylum shelters "must be brought under control quickly." The general formulations betray an immigrationist approach, without concrete plans to really tackle immigration.
The Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (SGP) says it wants to "now really work" on the principle that asylum should be temporary. "As soon as possible, asylum seekers return." To this end, procedures must be accelerated, residence permits shortened, while abuse of "family reunification" is countered by making it apply only to the "nuclear family." The SGP sides against the Spread Law and "there should be no coercion in the placement of an AZC."
Volt, hardly surprisingly for a party started from Soros-capital, opts flat out for immigrationism. Not only does it favor the forced Spread Law, the party wants something similar even for the entire EU: a "European Asylum and Migration Pact" that literally "obliges solidarity" (compulsory "virtue" in other words, as under Big Brother in 1984). While anti-immigration parties want to abolish the Dublin Regulation, Volt wants to restore it, so that asylum seekers can freely transit to the Netherlands from all EU countries. That could become a lot of them, because Volt also wants to open "legal migration routes" to Europe. Golden times are dawning for the asylum industry, as Volt wants to penalize its obstruction. The European border and coast guard Frontex comes directly under the European Parliament, but more for "joint EU search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean" than for its original purpose: to stop migrants.
Last, but certainly not least: the VVD, responsible as no other party for the asylum and immigration policy of the past thirteen years, declares that as its main theme in these elections. Apparently this party realizes all too well the image of unreliability it has built up, because with it in government and Marc Rutte as prime minister, more migrants than ever have entered the Netherlands. Even the secretary of state for asylum, Eric van der Burg, is a VVD member, best known for saying, "The more asylum seekers, the better. Now that the dispersal law (forcing municipalities to house asylum seekers) is in the parliamentary pipeline, the VVD suddenly declares itself against it, while its own secretary of state continues to push for it.
By seemingly betting on migration reduction before the elections, the VVD seems to want to clean up its past, hoping for voters with short memories. But for those with a longer memory, it is rather a warning to take VVD election promises on migration with a big bag of salt for now. As the saying goes: when the fox preaches the passion, farmer, watch your chickens. Anyway, the VVD claims to want to reduce migration and human trafficking through migration agreements with individual countries. Also, the external borders of Europe should be better guarded, where the registration of any asylum seekers should take place. But the VVD promises to curb migration seem mostly lip service to growing anti-immigrant sentiment among the electorate. They are generally not made very concrete, so the VVD can go either way with them after the election.
This article first appeared on the website Culture Under Fire of the Civitas Christiana Foundation. We have reproduced the article with permission, for which we thank you!