Geert Wilders and his anti-Islam Freedom Party are pushing the Dutch government to class the grandchildren of immigrants as “allochtonen” or non-native.
Under current law the third generation children of immigrants in Holland are classified as Dutch, in terms of government statistics and entitlements, as long as both their parents were born there.
But the anti-Muslim Freedom Party is concerned that by treating the grandchildren of immigrants as Dutch, 80 per cent of whom are under 10 years old, it will stop being possible to measure their integration.
Joram van Klaveren, a Freedom Party MP, has called for the change because, he claimed, unless third generation migrants are included in statistics as “allochtonen” then proof of immigration related crime would disappear.
“Non-western immigrants are still over-represented in the crime figures. Soon we won’t see that anymore because they will be classified as natives,” he told the nu.nl news website.
The demand from Mr Wilders is influential because his populist Freedom Party came third in elections last year on a platform that urged tougher rules on immigration, especially from Islamic countries.
Maxime Verhagen, the deputy prime minister, whose Christian Democrat and Liberal minority government relies on the support of Mr Wilders, signalled a hardening line towards immigrants.
Last week, Mr Wilders was cleared of “hate speech” crimes in an Amsterdam court for comparing the Koran to Mein Kampf and Islam to Nazism.
Judges ruled that while the comments were “hurtful and shocking” they were legitimate in the terms of the polarised Dutch public debate on multiculturalism.
Tofik Dibi, a Green-Left MP of Moroccan descent, classed as an “allochtoon” because his parents are immigrants dismissed the latest Freedom Party demand as “symbolic claptrap”.
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