THE HAGUE–As was expected, the so-called Bosman law to regulate the residency of new immigrants from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten in the Netherlands was voted down by the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday.
With only 58 votes of the 150 votes in favour, the initiative law proposal of Member of the Second Chamber André Bosman of the governing liberal democratic VVD party was thrown out. Without the support of the VVD’s coalition partner, the Labour Party PvdA, the law proposal failed to muster enough support.
Only the VVD, the Party for Freedom PVV, the Christian Reformed Party SGP, the Group Bontes/Van Klaveren and independent member Roland van Vliet voted in favour of the controversial law proposal during the voting round on Tuesday.
The VVD Parliamentarians immediately voiced their disappointment over the voting results with a loud “Ohhhhh,” obviously aimed at the PvdA which refused to lend its support to a “discriminatory law” that makes an “unjustified differentiation” between Dutch Caribbean and European Dutch citizens based on ethnicity.
>Member of Parliament Roelof van Laar of the PvdA made clear in no uncertain terms during the handling last Wednesday that his party would not vote in favour. He stated that he was glad that a majority of the Second Chamber was against the law proposal.
Besides the PvdA, several other parties, including the Socialist Party (SP), the Christian Democratic Party CDA, the Democratic Party D66, the green left party GroenLinks and the ChristianUnion had voiced severe objections to the law proposal. “A trashcan law proposal,” stated Sjoerd Sjoerdsma of D66. “Untenable in a Court of law,” said Madeleine van Toorenburg of CDA.
The Party for the Animals PvdD 50 Plus, the Group Kuzu/Öztürk and the independent members Johan Houwers and Norbert Klein didn’t support the law proposal either as became clear during the voting on Tuesday.
With his initiative law proposal, Bosman sought to regulate the residency of persons from the Dutch Caribbean countries moving to the Netherlands. These immigrants would need to show that they had a job in the Netherlands, or came to study, that they had sufficient means to sustain themselves. Those persons with a criminal record would be repatriated.
Bosman cited several arguments for drafting a law to regulate the residency of persons from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. Dutch Caribbean persons dominate crime statistics. Also, the islands have similar national decrees, the so-called LTUs, to regulate the admittance and expulsion of persons from abroad, including those from the Netherlands.
According to Bosman, his law could serve as negotiation material to arrive at a Kingdom Law to regulate the movement of persons within the Kingdom (“Rijkswet Personenverkeer), a proposal that was shunned by the Dutch Caribbean countries for obvious reasons: they don’t want restrictions to the free movement of their citizens with a Dutch passport to the Netherlands.