Europe’s growing migrant crisis and the violent attacks on African immigrants in South Africa dominated headlines the past week. In the Netherlands the coalition government was driven to near break-point on whether illegal immigrants are entitled to basic provisions while waiting to be deported.
Wittenborg University is proud to call itself a liberal, multicultural and progressive international institute of higher education and its students were upfront this week in reacting to the developments of the week.
Elbert van der Waal (The Netherlands): “In general I see no problem with immigrants in the Netherlands. To what extent provision should be made to illegal immigrants really depends on the resources the country has at its disposal. If you can help them with basic food and shelter it is fine but not if it has a negative impact on the economy.”
Ade Ojengbede (Nigeria): “I think the violence in South Africa is appalling. You always hear about white-on-black racism, but I never thought racism could occur between people of the same race. I don’t know what the government is doing to resolve this because they are the only people who can stop this. I heard on the news South Africans allege that we (immigrants from Africa) are taking their jobs. Which is not true! We are the people creating jobs. Just like in the UK, immigrants are often doing the jobs that locals won’t do. When I lived in the UK I also experienced some racism. If Nelson Mandela was alive he would be so disappointed.”
Justus van Soelen (Netherlands): “Having immigrants in the Netherlands does not really bother me. Sometimes they also do jobs Dutch people are not willing to do. If, for instance, someone fled from a war zone than we should definitely provide him or her with basic shelter and food. People are here now – they can’t sleep on the street. If you are concerned about illegal immigration then borders should be more closely secured.
James O. Edemoh (Nigeria): “In Nigeria we also sometimes see this lack of judgement as what is happening in South Africa. I think it has mainly to do with a lack of education. Sometimes there are jobs where the only person suitable to do it, is a foreigner. Are you going to have a riot about that? Immigrants can make an important contribution to a country’s economy.”
Eline Over de Vest (Netherlands): “True, there are a lot of immigrants in the Netherlands, but it is only fair that the government provide in the basic needs of illegals while they are waiting – I mean, when a Dutch person is unemployed, there is a security net. Why not provide some basic services to these people too?”
©Wittenborg University Press
by Anesca Smith