Progress Party politician Ulf Erik Knudsen wants immigrants whose children do not learn Norwegian to have their child support withdrawn, or face fines
Knudsen believes such methods will prove effective in the effort to achieve fluency in Norwegian for immigrant children.
"If there is one thing most people understand, it is economic penalties," Knudsen said. Knudsen is a member of the municipal council in Drammen and the Progress Party's family policy spokesman in the Storting, Norway's parliament.
"In our city there are many immigrant children who cannot speak rudimentary Norwegian when they start school. Some are not able to express themselves with a single word," Knudsen said, and characterizes the situation as child abuse. "In such cases parents are not doing their job and this should be a matter for child care authorities."
Knudsen envisages testing language development at the pre-school age. If Norwegian ability is poor or non-existent then steps could be taken. Mandatory day care attendance is one option, home visits another, but child care authorities should make these assessments, Knudsen said.
Fines or the cessation of state payments such as child support or relief benefits could ensue if parents fail to follow through.
Knudsen also wants immigrants to make an effort to speak more Norwegian in the home, and pointed out groups he feels make less of an effort.
"If a Bosnian can learn to speak Norwegian in two to three years, a Turk should be able to learn in 20," said Knudsen, who claims Turkish immigrants are not particularly active in learning Norwegian and seeking work in Drammen.
Knudsen also singled out Pakistanis and Turks for looking home when seeking a mate.
"In this way one constantly gets first generation immigrants. We won't have real integration before we stop the import of spouses," said Knudsen, who said he fears the development of ghettos in Drammen.
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