Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (AD) has published an article on the influx of asylum-seekers into the city of Rotterdam. In the past two years, the city has housed 2,429 asylum-seekers, 80 more than it was obligated to do by law. Of those 2,429, 95% lives on social benefits. On the national level, no matter how long they’ve been in the Netherlands, 90% of Muslim migrants still live on welfare.
TOC The numbers are from a study by the municipality, into the migrant population that has been allowed to live in Rotterdam over last two years: the so-called Monitor Rotterdamse Aanpak Statushouders 2016-2020. It is the first time that a study of how a city is coping with the influx of migrants that, in the words of AD, surprised Europe in 2015, is conducted.
The political party Leefbaar Rotterdam, known for its criticism on the housing of migrants, sees the 95% on social benefits as a confirmation of its concerns.“Refugees are said to be an enrichment for the city. But now you see that people are given a ticket to social benefits. Rotterdam has enough problems of its own.“
Across party lines, Labour decided to blame it on Leefbaar. Labour council member Barbara Kathmann:
“Time and time again, the PvdA has insisted that the municipality should pay for language classes, converting diploma’s, and escorting people to work. (…) With Leefbaar, I sometimes think that the aldermen enjoy sitting on their hands, not doing anything.“
Up to now, four of the migrants residing in Rotterdam have a full-time job, the monitor states. Some of them have odd jobs, working in a garage, bakery, cobbler, agriculture, the hotel school and a ICT-company. Besides that, up to 150 migrants volunteer as a translator, serving coffee or mentor at a sewing workshop. Of the group, 137 are in school. All migrants are obligated to attend language classes and a ‘participation’-course. Most of 2016’s migrant arrivals were the result of ‘family reunion’ or chain migration.
ACH When one Muslim woman living in the Netherlands was denied some of her welfare benefits because she refused to remove her hijab in order to get a job, she sued.
This case starts with a Muslim migrant who, after two years on welfare in the Netherlands, “was told by Utrecht’s Department of Work and Income that she must get a job if she wants to continue collecting taxpayer benefits.” Unwilling to get a job, she fell back on her alleged Muslim faith as an excuse for not working.
“The woman told the city council that she should not be expected to find work because her beliefs require her to wear the face-covering niqab, which is banned in the workplace. Fortunately, she lost. She appealed, and the appeal was denied in a precedent-setting decision.
“The Central Appeals court not only refused her appeal but ruled that the department may deny benefits to all able-bodied Muslims who cite their religious beliefs as an excuse to remain unemployed.”