Denmark: Immigration issues

Two stories from Denmark: The Danish right-wing party, People's Party, fears Danish immigration laws might be undermined by the Swedish ones and Denmark finds that rejecting asylum seekers is not that easy.

Danish People's Party fears influx of Swedish immigrants

Commerce between Sweden and Denmark has been aided by the Öresund bridge. But the far-right Danish People's Party is concerned that improved communications may make it too easy for Sweden's relatively generous immigration laws to undermine Denmark's more restrictive policy.

The People's Party, currently the third largest in Denmark, is particularly worried about the flow of Iraqis to Sweden, Jyllands-Posten reports.

Sweden took in a total of 1,400 Iraqi citizens in November 2006, whereas just 62 made their way to Denmark in the same period.

The Danish People's Party fears that freedom of residence within the Nordic countries will make it too easy for immigrants with Swedish residency permits to establish themselves in Denmark.

Spokesman Søren Espersen has called for the Nordic agreement on freedom of residence to be repealed if problems develop.

But Social Democratic spokeswoman Lotte Bundsgaard and Liberal integration minister Rikke Hvilshøj found it difficult to understand the Espersen's reasoning.

"Why should large numbers of immigrants who are well integrated in Sweden move to Denmark? I agree with the minister that there are so many good things in Nordic co-operation which we do not want to throw out with the bath water.

"Many Danes have moved to Sweden and work in Denmark, so we use each other"s labour and have freedom of movement," said Bundsgaard.

Rejected Iraq refugees unwanted at home

The regional government in northern Iraq says it will not accept rejected asylum seekers from Denmark

A group of Iraqi refugees in Denmark are finding themselves in a political no man's land, after the regional officials in northern Iraq said they could not be accommodated, reported Politiken newspaper Monday.

The Immigration Ministry is seeking to forcibly return 300 asylum seekers to northern Iraq, despite the recommendations of the UN High Commission for Refugees, which says that civil war-like conditions in the country make returning too dangerous.

Officials with the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government pointed out that despite talks with the Danish ambassador in Iraq, the region's lack of housing and basic necessities made it impossible to accommodate returned refugees.

'The way things are now, they would be too much of a burden for us,' said Falah Mustafa Bakir, the director of foreign relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Despite the rejection, representatives from Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Liberal Party predicted that the Iraqis would be able to return within the year - even if it meant resorting to unusual measures.

'I've already proposed that we help them build houses and find jobs there,' said Irene Simonsen, the party's integration spokesperson. 'I don't know whether we will have to sail prefab houses down there or build something there. That's something that we will discuss in negotiations.'

The question for the opposition parties wasn't whether the Iraqis should be sent home, but how they should be treated while they waited for the situation to improve. Until they can leave, they are demanding the refugees be given temporary residence permits and allowed to work.

'We know we won't be sending them home tomorrow or the next day,' said Social Democrat Lotte Bundsgaard. 'So I don't think we can justify keeping them in repatriation centres until they can be.'

Sources: The Local (English), Copenhagen Post (English)


Steen said...

Hi from Denmark,

The problem is : Nordic citizens benefits from agreements better thasn thos of the EU - not the least, welfare.
The nordic law here, but in Danish

Comrade said...

See all about denmark immigration on How to Immigrate to Denmark

Anonymous said...

Hi 2 all. Follow this website for Immigration to Europe (Denmark/Germany). Europe Office
I hope this link will be helpful for you all.
All the Best.