Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 17:58:02 -0600 (CST)
From: John O <>
Subject: (en) Struggle for Sans Papiers and Illegalised people Netherlands.
Article: 56349
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <>

Struggle for ‘Sans Papiers’ and ‘Illegalised’ people Netherlands

A-Infos News Service, 2 March 1999

Nederland Bekent Kleur, a national platform against racism in the Netherlands, asks for your help:

Dear friends,

At this moment in the Netherlands we are involved in a struggle with our government to legalize a group of ‘sans papiers’. Although there is a lot of pressure from the Dutch society, the Dutch governemnt will not discuss the option of a ‘General Amnesty’ for a group of about 2.000 illegals who are known to have resided in the Netherlands for a long time, more than five years and often even more than ten.

The government refers to this group as ‘white illegals', which means they have worked and lived in our country for a long time and were treated like normal citizens when it comes to things like the income-tax, social security and many other institutions.

Due to a new law, the so called ‘Koppelingswet’, these people now have been stripped of the rights and securities they have built up during their years of stay in this country.

We feel that this can not just happen. We insist on legalization of at least this group by the governement. Many other European countries have legalised large groups of ‘illegals’ in the past.

Now the illegalised have started to defend their rights: two separate hungerstrikes are going on, one of 15 women and one of 31 men. We feel that pressure from abroad would certainly help our cause, so we ask you to:

write a protest letter (model letter below) to the: Dutch Secretary of State Job Cohen, who is in charge of this issue, urging him to go in the direction of legalisation.

Please send copies of your letters to

Nederland Bekent Kleur
Postbus 59606
1040 LC Amsterdam
Tel: ++ 31 20 689 75 55
Fax: ++ 31 20 618 56 91

Bastiaan van Perlo
Nederland Bekent Kleur, The Netherlands

Model letter:

Department of Justice
The Secretary of State MR. M.J. Cohen
Postbus 20301
2500 EH Den Haag
The Netherlands

Fax ++ 31 70 370 79 37

Re: Legalization of ‘white illegals'

Dear Mr Cohen,

We have been informed of the situation in the Netherlands concerning the 'white illegals’ and we want you to know that we feel strongly about a fair treatment of this group of ‘sans papiers’. Several other European countries have in recent years legalized big groups of illegal residents. In the period 1996 and 1998 France has legalized about 75 thousand people and more recently Italy has legalized 250 thousand ‘sans papiers’.

We have also been informed of the so called ‘Koppelingswet’, a law which scans the Dutch adminstrative systems for people who do not have a residential permit. We consider this law to be very harsh, as it even excludes people without staying permits from public services like education and healthcare. We understand that these people in most cases have worked and lived in the Netherlands for many years and until recently have normally been included in the tax system and social security system and have paid their income and other taxes.

We consider the above to be more than enough background to permit this group to contiunue ther lives as legal citizens of the Netherlands and we therefore urge the Dutch government to pardon at least this limited group. As mentioned above this would not contradict the actions take by other European states and would show the respect these ‘sans papiers’ have earned.

Yours sincerely,

National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
101 Villa Road
Birmingham B19 1NH
Phone: 0121-554-6947
Fax: 0870-055-4570
E-mail Web