Illegal immigration and residence became an issue in the Netherlands in the beginning of the 1990’s. People began to realise that quite a few immigrant workers – both legal and illegal – were staying here for longer periods of time. They weren’t going back to their country of origin. This sparked fears for the labour market and the social and public services.
Gradually, immigration began to be perceived as a problem. But it wasn’t until the economic recession, which started around the turn of the 21st century, that the Dutch government really started to act. Tough policies were introduced to stamp out undocumented workers and expel them to their country of origin. This has led to profound changes for those who live in the shadows of Dutch society.
Producer: Liesbeth de Bakker
Broadcast: October 11, 2005