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Dutch authorities seek to stem the flow of imported brides

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE – Dutch authorities are taking steps to make it harder for minorities in the Netherlands to circumvent immigration and family law regulations. Of specific concerns are family reunification and marriage sponsorships, including arrangements for fraudulent marriages and compulsory nuptials between aunts and nephews and uncles and nieces. The authorities are also raising the bar concerning mandatory knowledge of the Dutch language, seen as crucial for orderly integration. The measures are designed to reduce the number of imported brides who often find themselves in abusive relationships in a country where they are isolated. Integration minister Eberhard van der Laan finds it repugnant that men import brides because they find eligible women in their own communities too emancipated. Embassy officials are expected to screen applicants for fake marriages or forced nuptials, involving simultaneous interviews with both intended partners. The minister does not restrict the rules to Moroccans and Turks but includes Asians as well. Van der Laan admits that the measures are a ‘little tricky’ but doing nothing is not an option, says the Rijnsburg-born minister.