2004 June 03 Thursday
The Netherlands Adopting Tough Immigration Policies

Winds of change are blowing through Holland. The tolerant Dutch are implementing some of the toughest policies in Europe toward illegal immigrants.

Worried about a loss of national identity, alienated by Islamic extremism, and frustrated by a sense that the newcomers are taking advantage of Holland's cradle-to-grave social-welfare system, the Dutch are enacting some of the toughest immigration restrictions in Europe.

The new barriers include a rule that prospective residents pass a Dutch language and culture test in their native countries as a condition for admission, the European Union's first such requirement for residency, as opposed to citizenship. The government also has cracked down on illegal-alien employment and increased residency-permit fees by as much as 600 percent.

In addition, the center-right government is moving forward with a plan to expel about 26,000 people who had been allowed to stay for years after their asylum applications were rejected. The plan could include placing people in detention centers; some of those marked for expulsion have been living here as long as five years.

To put the size of that deportation in perspective the United States of America has a population of 290,342,554 (July 2003 est.) as compared to the Netherlands with 16,150,511 (July 2003 est.) which works out to a ratio of 18 to 1. For the US to deport a proportional number of people we would have to round up about 468,000. Given that the lower end estimate for illegal immigrants in the United States is 8 million that would only start to address the problem. However, it could be done. Immigration law could be enforced if the American people became mad enough for their anger to override the power of various special interests who make sure policy makers sabotage immigration law enforcement.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 June 03 10:25 AM  Immigration Policy

noone said at June 4, 2004 3:34 AM:

It will take another,or several,9/11's to overcome the inertia and self-interest of the american political class,various open border fundies and power hungery ethnic groups.Politicians will have to feel personally threatened at the ballot box before they react.The mass CYA seen in DC in the aftermath of 9/11 shows just how self-serving they are.

We have adopted policies that contradict each other,open borders with increased police power internally,a politicaly correct "War" that has no definable enemy(that we can name,anyway).To say that we are at war with "terrorism to say that in 1945 we went to war against the blitzkrieg and the banzai attack.One does not wage war on tactics,but on those who employ those tactics.

Brock said at June 4, 2004 1:21 PM:

Well, to me this sounds pretty stupid. I'm a big fan of the free movement of labor. If the Dutch (or the US) has established a system where people make immigration decisions based on rent-seeking instead of opportunity-seeking, then that's a sign of bad policy. Trying to cover up your lousy policy with more lousy policies is NOT a one-way ticket to wealth and prosperity.

Damn it, don't fix the symptoms (immigrants on welfare) - cure the disease (the welfare system itself). If our national policies of work & welfare were straigtened out we wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

Besides, tests for language and culture? Who would define these, might I ask? What exactly is 'American' culture? What is 'Dutch' culture? If someone born in the country does not conform to the government's definition of language and culture, can we expel them? Why don't we just round up all undesirables and ship them off somewhere? What a WONDERFUL idea. /sarcasm.

No, I'm sorry. This is tribalism, and poor judgment. Can we enforce closed border laws? Of course we can. Is it a good idea? I don't think so, and I will vote and lobby against any attempt to do so. Some of my ancestors told the King of England to take a hike so they could form a new nation which accepted all peoples from all lands. Other ancestors of mine took them up on the offer and immigrated here, though none since the 19th century. It worked out pretty well for them, just as worked out quite well for my wife's family when they immigrated here 23 years ago.

Immigration works just fine. The welfare state is the problem. Fix it, and let free men live where they may.

Randall Parker said at June 4, 2004 1:57 PM:

Brock, The beginning of wisdom is to understand that the welfare state can not be eliminated or even drastically scaled back. I oppose it. I argue against it. But decades have gone by and it has only grown. The welfare reform of 1995 or 1996 did not stop the growth of Medicaid or other parts of the welfare state. It is bigger than ever. The more people we have coming here who are poor then the more there will be who will vote for transfer payments and Robin Hood politics.

Your problem is that the majority do not think like you do. The option you prefer is not achievable because a substantial majority can not be convinced to support it.

Immigration from Latin America is increasing the size of the lower class much more rapidly than it is increasing the size of the upper middle and upper classes. The number of people who make lower incomes and who can not afford medical insurance or other stuff is growing faster than the fraction who can. The obvious result will be a growth in the welfare state.

Hispanics in later generations do not rise in academic achievement and so this growth of the lower class is going to be with us for generations to come.

When faced with empirical evidence that is not consistent with open borders libertarianism I abandoned open borders libertarianism. Empirical evidence trumps ideology with me. I no longer consider myself a libertarian as a result.

I see nothing "tribal" about this. I think it is a recognition of evidence.

ghfdjru said at June 4, 2004 3:37 PM:

"I'm a big fan of the free movement of labor."

Ten you are by defination a fan of increasing the underclass.

"tests for language and culture? Who would define these, might I ask? What exactly is 'American' culture? What is 'Dutch' culture?"

The answer to this is too complex for a comments section,but if you look at your own life and preferences,you'll begin to get a general idea.

"Why don't we just round up all undesirables and ship them off somewhere?"

And Europe may very well end up attempting this.

"This is tribalism"

And this is official policy throughout the West,public and private.

"Can we enforce closed border laws? Of course we can. Is it a good idea? I don't think so, and I will vote and lobby against any attempt to do so."

Then,as I pointed out above,you favor increasing a tribalized underclass.

"Some of my ancestors told the King of England to take a hike so they could form a new nation which accepted all peoples from all lands."

You need to study true veiws of the Founding Fathers and not the later views assigned to them to support various agendas.You'll be quite surprised.

"Immigration works just fine. The welfare state is the problem. Fix it, and let free men live where they may"

As Randal pointed out,the welfare is here to stay until it collapses under it's own weight,until then you'll pay higher taxes to support it and it will attract ever more people of little or no economic value to our society,and the tribal spoils system you bemoan will expand,coaresning our political system and making the politicians increasingly rancid in persuit of the votes of those tribal groups.

With all due respect,people who blindly support open borders have lost any right to complain about the welfare state,high taxes,cultural and ethnic balkinization and corrupt spoils system politics.Too many people have told you too often what your policies were leading to and been dismissed out of hand as "nativist" and "xenophobe".
Don't expect us to listen to your whining and don't pout when we tell you pay up and shut up.

Brock said at June 5, 2004 3:59 PM:

"As Randal pointed out,the welfare is here to stay until it collapses under it's own weight[.]"

Then I am for free immigration. That will cause it to collapse more quickly.

And ghfdjru, I am not whining. I am arguing; and I stand by my point.

Besides, no large nation, no matter how open, will ever have enough immigrants to control elections (influence, sure, but not control). The course of events are controlled by Americans.

Fly said at June 5, 2004 5:13 PM:


How about California? Admittedly it’s not a nation but as a state it has considerable independent power. Certainly the size, economic power, and media influence qualifies it as a world power.

Presently over half the births in California are to Spanish speaking mothers. In my opinion most of these new Americans share more ties with Mexico than with the US. Demographically they already play a major role and will soon dominate California politics.

The Cuban immigrants displaced the white majority in Miami and totally dominate the local politics. (I believe this actually helped spread US power. The first Cuban immigrants were a talented group. In many ways Miami now serves as a political and business and cultural center for Central and South America and that helps the US.)

Just as some believe the welfare state is here to stay, I believe we are stuck with massive immigration. I don’t see the political will to shut our borders. I do hope the US severely curtails illegal immigration and tracks all non-citizens. I also hope the worst abuses such as failure to deport criminals are publized and fixed. I also want strong programs to encourage Spanish speakers to learn English and identify with the US. (I’m learning Spanish. I don’t want the US to split into sub-cultures so language barriers need to be bridged.)

Randall Parker said at June 5, 2004 6:09 PM:


The Republican Party is, as The Fly points out, dead in California. Dead, dead, dead. Why? Hispanics.

What else do you get for this? High taxes and a big budget deficit at the same time. Where's the collapse of the welfare state? It is growing.

What else do we get? Higher crime rates as evidenced by incarceration ratios. Hispanics are imprisoned at 3.7 times the rate of whites due to a higher average propensity to commit crime

Here are the facts on Latino imprisonment, as reported in a valuable new study called "Masking the Divide: How Officially Reported Prison Statistics Distort the Racial and Ethnic Realities of Prison Growth" by the liberal National Center on Institutions and Alternatives. According to the statistics in their appendices, the per capita imprisonment rate for Hispanics in 1997 was 3.7 times that of non-Hispanic whites.

Now me, I think the Monty Python sketch with "getting hit on the head lessons" is funny. But I don't want to live through that in real life. Immigration is hitting us on the head. Pro-immigration advocates are showing every sign of being knocked senseless in the face of copious quantities of evidence that it is making the United States a much worse place than it would be otherwise.

Oh and Brock, Mexico can not afford a big welfare state. Why? Because it is too poor. Yep, we can scale back the welfare state alright. We just have to make ourselves too poor to afford it. California is in the process of doing just that. Tragic. Enormously tragic.

ghjk said at June 6, 2004 4:04 AM:

"Then I am for free immigration. That will cause it to collapse more quickly."

And the ramshackle remains of our democratic republic,rickety as it is,will collapse with it.The equeal protection clause is now gone along with the enumerted powers doctrine,in the name of tribal spoils,aka "affirmative action".CAlifornia with a majority ppoulation of unassimilated Mexicans will soon(and in may ways already does)resemble the rest of Mexico.Why so many people find this so hard to grasp,I don't know.
Latin America has NOT been the engine of global developement for the last 500 yrs for a very good reason.Why so many people then think a latinized America is a very good thing need to provide some very convincing arguments beyond cheap nannies maids and gardners.

"And ghfdjru, I am not whining. I am arguing; and I stand by my point."

Mass immigration of uneducated,unskilled 3rd worlders drives taxes,which you don't like,the 2 are clearly connected.If you support mass immigrsation,then do not compliam about the resulting consequences.If you insist on drinking,don't expect sympathy for your hangover.The more poor immigrants,the more the politicians will try to buy their votes with your and the more they will need more of your money.
Ironicaly,many people who have your attitude have found to thier shock that after paying higher taxes,premiums,etc,to subsidize all that cheap labor with free housing,free food,free health care and free education,they can't afford employ nannies,or maids themselves..

The more groups competing for the spoils system,the more conflict.The more conflict,the more the state will impose authoritarina measures to ensure public peace and increase the spoils system,which will lead to more conflict and more laws,etc,etc,etc.......

Open borders types have something to support that will almost make everything they claim to want unattainable and everything they want self-destructive.

Kenelm Digby said at June 6, 2004 7:19 AM:

It is very easy to sit at a computer screen and pontificate high-falutin' prose about oen-door immigration "enriching" us all, recite "libetarian" dogma about free movement etc, declare that America is a "nation of immigrants", but the essential test of all of your wrong-headed arguments is very simple, would you be happy to live in south cental Los Angeles?, downtown Detroit?, New York city?, the southside of Chicago? etc etc etc.

Brock said at June 7, 2004 7:10 AM:


As a matter of fact, I _do_ live in New York. Wonderful ethnic food as far as the eye can see. I'm particularly fond of the Turkisk cuisine.

I think a 'Latinized' America would be pretty lousy. I think that 'Americanized' latinos are just as good as any other American. I think that the welfare state and the victimology politics allow latinos to retain their dysfunctional culture, and not face up to the realities of how American became wealthy & powerful in the first place.

What I will NOT do, is argue that the welfare state (a political creation) cannot be transformed into something positive. There are nations which have done this. Critically, they are small nations. A consensus was more quickly reached. It takes longer in larger nations, but even in Germany there is talk of reform. It may not materialize soon, but that's no reason to give up and shout defeatism and pessimism. We made the welfare state, and there is no law of physics which denies us the power to un-make it.

Do many of you have latino friends? Do you know a fair sampling of immigrants, 1st and 2nd generation latinos? I do. The assimilation is occuring right before my eyes. It might not be as quick as you'd like - but it's not the latinos which are the problem.

Randall, I read your site fairly regularly. I haven't forgotten your statistics on the _current_ state of latin immigrants. I just don't think that it's the latin immigrants that's the main problem. I think its our babying of them, and our willingness to let them continue with poor practices. Would it be better if they were as concerned with saving, investing and educating as Chinese immigrants? Of course it would. But that doesn't make a closed border policy a good idea. Ceteris paribus, it's a freakin' lousy idea.

I guess the difference is you see a huge challenge, and figure it's not worth the effort. I don't work that way. The good fight does not cease to be good when the going gets tough. As long as you pay taxes, work for your money, and do not break the peace, all are welcome as far as I am concerned. If we make our home too forgiving of freebooters and layabouts, that's our concern and we should not blame others.

Randall Parker said at June 7, 2004 10:38 AM:

Brock, No, I do not see a huge challenge. I see an impossible challenge. How can you look at the rates of attainment of college degrees by Hispanic immigrants even into the 4th generation and see this as a temporary problem?

Suppose it is a huge challenge: Why should I be forced to pay for it? That is a very unlibertarian notion and yet the libertarian open borders crowd has no argument to address it.

Unmaking the welfare state: Robin Hood voters want it. Poor people elect politicians that take from the rich and give to the poor. That is one fundamental problem with democracy which no libertarian argument has an answer to.

Plus, we don't just pay in higher taxes. We pay in higher pollution. We pay in a Hispanic crime rate that is so much higher than the white crime rate that it results in 3.7 times the rate of incarceration. I see that number as translating into more bank robberies, gas station hold-ups, rapes, murders, and other crimes with real victims. Why subject ourselves to that?

When I read the data and analyze social policy I see huge group average differences in behavior that persist for many generations. First and second generation East Asians such as Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese go to college and become engineers at literally orders of magnitude higher rate than Hispanics. THe gap does not close in later generations. I've reported the results here multiple times.

Look, there are group-average differences in abilities and in cultures. These differences matter. They cause long and lasting differences in levels of achievement. Even if we could implement more libertarian policies those policies would not change these differences. They would also not change relative crime rates either.

Fly said at June 7, 2004 1:07 PM:


“Do many of you have latino friends? Do you know a fair sampling of immigrants, 1st and 2nd generation latinos? I do. The assimilation is occuring right before my eyes. It might not be as quick as you'd like - but it's not the latinos which are the problem.”

I was born in Houston and have lived in LA for the last twenty years. I have lived, worked, and played with Hispanics. I’ve known old family Hispanics in New Mexico that still view gringos as upstart invaders and are horrified by illegal immigration.

I’m friends with naturalized Americans born in Argentina who are educated, cultured, and speak excellent English. (They tend to be leftish. They blame the US for those Latin dictators. Sigh. The US will be apologizing for Cold War politics for a long time.)

Those Latinos who are talented and are assimilating help strengthen America.

However, they seem to be a small minority of recent immigrants. More common is poorly educated Hispanics who don’t speak English and are unlikely to learn. They live in their own Spanish cultural world with their own TV programs, radio, and papers. They root for Mexican sports teams. (The first generation immigrants are usually hard working and generally likeable people who are grateful to be in the US.)

So I agree with Randall that the US has a problem.

I disagree with Randall on the best approach for solving that problem.

I believe that the next twenty years are going to significant change our view of human nature. For the first time in history a man wont be limited by his genetic heritage. Technologies will be developed so that “no child will be left behind” could become a real policy rather than a political slogan. If I’m right the Latin immigrant population wont be a burden, but will instead be an asset. Increased intelligence and advanced learning technologies should ease the language barrier and aid assimilation.

(I also repect that Randall doesn’t want the US future to depend on this optimistic technological genie saving our country.)

I also don’t believe the political will exists to stop massive immigration. At best the US will tighten its borders and track non-citizens and deport criminals. (And I think I’m being optimistic here.)

Even if we could stop immigration and deport all non-citizens I believe the political cost might be too high. The economy of Mexico would be wrecked. We’d have a very hostile, unstable country to our South and militantly unhappy Hispanic Americans at home. We don’t need this on top of the WoT.

Bob Badour said at June 7, 2004 3:01 PM:

Why do you assume the economy of Mexico would be wrecked by sending them home and do no assume the economy of America would be wrecked by keeping them?

Fly said at June 7, 2004 10:29 PM:


“Why do you assume the economy of Mexico would be wrecked by sending them home and do no assume the economy of America would be wrecked by keeping them?”

I have no evidence, only speculation.

The illegal immigrant population is a large percentage of the total Mexican population. The Mexican economy can’t generate nearly as many new jobs as the US powerhouse economy. Sending 10 million illegal Mexican workers back would severely disrupt Mexico. Many (if not most) illegal aliens send money back to Mexico. The sudden loss of that income would significantly hurt the Mexican economy. Much of the Mexican economy depends on free and open trade with the US. Deporting 10 million illegals and closing the US border would likely hurt that trade.

The US economy is very wealthy and the best job generating economy in the world. The illegal labor, while not trivial, doesn’t have near the effect on the US as it would on Mexico.

I am not an advocate for open borders. I don’t believe unskilled migrant labor is good for the US. I believe the economic and social costs of unskilled migrant labor exceeds the value of their contributions. I also believe it strongly hurts low skilled American workers and that causes a host of secondary social problems. I also believe having the US split into English and Spanish sub cultures is unhealthy. So massive immigration of unskilled labor is a drain on the native born American populace. (Immigration of skilled workers is a strong plus for the US.)

On the other hand, there maybe strategic advantages to massive Mexican immigration. If the US can absorb the immigrants and successful assimilate them, i.e. educate and instill US values and loyalty, then the US will be stronger. We’d have strong friendly ties to a Mexico with a smaller, richer populace. (After all, most of their poor came to the US.) Now President Fox tries to influence the US through Mexican-Americans. In the future I believe successful Mexican-Americans would exert considerable political influence in Mexico. This could have a ripple affect on US relations with the Central and South American countries. (Expelling the illegals and closing our borders would further damage our relations. We could do it but there would be a penalty.)

If this were the whole story then I’d be torn between the alternatives.

Randall, clearly opts for expelling because he doesn’t believe the US can successfully assimilate unskilled Mexicans.

I agree we will have problems but I expect advanced technology to provide a needed boost, increasing skills of the immigrants while lowering social costs. Thus I don’t favor expelling all illegals. I do believe we must control our borders and track all non-citizens.

Bob Badour said at June 8, 2004 6:20 PM:

Mexico has a third of the population of the US and three times the population of Canada. Surely, they can absorb their own illegal emigrants.

If all those illegals returned home, they would start businesses and employ each other turning Mexico's economy into a powerhouse. N'est pas?

At the best case, the illegals will be a drain on the US economy. At the worst case, they will be net contributors to the Mexican economy. Such is the nature of marginal efficiency.

Bob Badour said at June 8, 2004 6:27 PM:

P.S. God Bless the C.I.A. and their handy-dandy world facts

Bart said at August 13, 2004 9:08 PM:


sd said at December 21, 2004 1:52 PM:

If you only got off your self-righteous pedestal and examined for a second the circumstances behind the state of the so called "illegal immigrants" and the "welfare state" they have forced, you will notice that repression and antagonism will only briefly mask the problem. The next time the thought of "illegal immigrants" draining your economy crosses your mind, think about the fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and diary products you consume copiously because they are available in plenty & are so cheap, and the reason why. Here's Farmer John, in an act of great sensitivity towards his fellow "legal American citizens", hiring poor, uneducated hopefuls looking for a better life, at way-below-minimum-wage wages to pass on the benefit to you. These people come across the border (which is touted with great hubris as "open") to seek refuge from a corrupt, unethical government and try to make 2 square meals a day, and they not only face the ignomy of being shortchanged at every opportunity, but also have to face taunts from the likes of you prissy holier-than-thou smug close-minded narrow-viewed xenophobes about "exploiting" medicare and driving up taxes. What a pathetic bunch of jack-offs! Randall Parker, you, sir, are a miserable loser.

Randall Parker said at December 21, 2004 1:56 PM:


We are all losers because immigration is lowering the quality of life in the United States.

Your reaction is emotional, not rational. You can call me or others here lots of names. This speaks far more poorly of you than it does of the supposed "xenophobes".

Go read the arguments I link to. Answer the arguments I make rather than just ranting.

Basim AL-Kahteeb said at March 3, 2006 5:59 AM:

Dear sir,
I am Basim AL-Kahteeb, I am graduate of Oil Institute, Baghdad-Iraq a cadmic year (1987-1988) worked at Atomic Energy Organization in field of maintenance of nuclear centrifuge, then at National Committee of Technology Transfer with 15 years of experience.
I am married and i have three kids. My Wife is May Adnan Taqi, She is graduated from Economy &Administration College\University of Baghdad.
I am going to leave my country due to the bad and unusual political situation as well as the bad social situation which I am facing now .I think the bad reality here (could reach to the 90%) including which can called " racial discrimination " and religious. This can clearly seen in the Iraqi street without doubt and could be lead to the civilian war in the near future, therefore I decided to immigrate form my mother country and live in your country as a refugee.
Actually, I have the fear for future of my kids, I feel hopeless here and frustration which is the natural result of our circumstances, life here full of danger, the darkness and revenge is reside in our country especially the Baghdad capital….the region where I live is located in the west of Baghdad, the region is characterized by blasts and dead men everyday. Fear, every fellow lock his gate at 6:00pm because the region become like the "Ghosts city".
I have the ambition to complete my study and also my kids enjoy with the proper educational learning and also the proper medical treatment which can seen in every civilized region.
I reject any kind of the radical or religious directions which destroy our country and still make people here groups and parties fight each others and always the Victims are the simple and the weak persons like me and others who want to see the new enlightenment and live n the new and open society …..I have to say that I faced recently many armed robbery and I think God to keep me survived till now I realized that someday I want return to my home alive.
I think that our back to my country will make my status very danger to me and also my family,….because my country is under the control of ignorance, sectarian malice now and the absence of the one authority which must have full of the technocrats members because those persons are able to manage the policy and rule the country with full of wisdom….not those who are chosen by a religious persons.
Now my country is a battlefield between :
• The radical persons and the Iraqi & US army.
• The allies of the religious government and the citizens in every side of Baghdad and surrounding .
• Guerrilla warfare in every where of my country.
I thing the recent government now contains a military mafia which is ready to kill anyone who is not agree with its opinion, so if I stay to my country I will face many threats such as:
•Escalation of the military battles between the army and the insurgents especially in the region where I live.
•The insurgents of the tyranny of the recent government.
•The losing of the full civilians services which are now not available completely like the electricity , shortage in oil, gas and drinking water…,etc.
•Full losing of security and safety.

Dir Sari,
My full address is:
Iraq - Baghdad
AL-khadraa city (above-ground 641-street 34- home 5)
My home phone No: 0096415554193
My Mobil No: 0096417901390992
my name writ in my passport ((Basim M.Muhi AL Deen)) the No. of my passport is (s 0996842)
May name writ in her passport (( May A.Taqi )) the No. of May( my wife) passport is (s 105328)
My kids thy are in the same with my wife(( May A.Taqi )) in passport, their names are:
1- Smmra B.
2- Lamies B.
3- Oumier B.
((Basim M.Muhi AL Deen)) born in Iraq Baghdad ((1/1/1967)).
((May A.Taqi)) born in Iraq Baghdad ((15/11/1968)). It’s my wife
Our children were born:
1-Smmra B. in Iraq - Baghdad ((22/4/1994)) it’s my Daughter
2-Lamies B. in Iraq - Baghdad ((3/9/1999)). it’s my Daughter
3-Oumier B. in Iraq - Baghdad ((3/9/1999)). it’s my son

My e-mail: bmmd67@yahoo.com or bmmd1967@hotmail.com

With my best regards
Basim AL-Kahteeb

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