Denmark’s new legislation is aimed at drastically reducing the number of refugees who stay in Denmark indefinitely by shifting the focus from integration of refugees to sending them back to their respective home countries.
A new bill described by its proponents as a “paradigm shift” in Denmark’s refugee and asylum policy has been passed by parliament. The government assisted by the right-wing Danish People’s Party and the opposition Social Democrats voted in favour of a significant change in the country’s approach to immigration, Danish Radio reported.
A key aspect of the bill is to shift the focus from integration to future repatriation of those seeking asylum in Denmark, including UN refugees and those who don’t have permanent status. The bill is thus expected to drastically reduce the number of refugees who stay in Denmark indefinitely.
According to the policy, refugees should be sent home when conditions in their countries of origin are deemed safe enough for this to occur. The bill also implies a reduced integration allowance and limited opportunities for family re-unions for immigrants. Also, residence permits will become temporary as a rule, and it will become easier to withdraw them or not extend them.
As Danish Finance Minister Kristian Jensen put it, Denmark will no longer have a system where “refugees become immigrants”.
Immigration and Integration Minister Inger Støjberg of the liberal-conservative Venstre party stressed that it is yet to be seen how many refugees will be sent home as a result of the new legislation, but promised a concrete effect.