Rights of Foreigners: The Netherlands
Ton Van Den Brink
Flora Goudappel
Jaap De Zwaan
2007/ Vol. 19, No. 1, (63)
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Rights of Foreigners:

The Netherlands

Ton van den Brink / Flora Goudappel / Jaap de Zwaan

Erasmus University Rotterdam, School of Law

 The integration of immigrants in Dutch society has grown to become so much a cause for public concern that it was one of the key elements of the so-called ‘Fortuyn revolt’ of 2002. The 2000 new Aliens Act marks a significant change in the system that had been gradually built since the Aliens Act 1965. The Aliens Act applies only to aliens wishing to stay for a longer period than three months, as a stay for a shorter period is allowed without a permit. Asylum seekers can be granted a residence permit for a lim­ited period (max. 3 years). After that, the asylum seeker may be granted a residence permit for an indefinite time. Illegal immigration is regulated by the Aliens Act as well. This Act provides for measures such as taking illegal immigrants in custody and, eventually, expulsion. Citizens of other EU Member States are not subject to the provi­sions of the Alien Act 2000. Residence permits for EU citizens are therefore declara­tory in nature. The fight against terrorism has not led to problems concerning funda­mental (constitutional) rights. It is not strictly limited to measures against foreigners, especially third-country nationals. The Dutch Constitution already allowed Dutch na­tionals to be extradited. There are a few limitations placed on this extradition system, as there has, e.g., to be a guarantee that the fundamental rights of the national will not be violated, so no death penalty. The only real problem concerns the possibility of a pro­longed period of remanded custody for suspects of terrorist activities. All activities are co-ordinated by the National Anti-Terrorism Co-ordinator, whose activities fall partly under the Minister of the Interior and partly under the Minister of Justice. In addition, there are special and more general government agencies involved in the actual imple­mentation: the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), the police and the Immigration and Nationalisation Service (IND).

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