Denmark: Accept the criminal mentally-ill refugees

Normally Denmark gives residence on humanitarian grounds for asylum seekers who suffer from serious mental illnesses. But if the mental illness causes a person to break the law then it's a whole different issue. Mentally ill refugees don't have a possibility to get a residence permit on humanitarian grounds if they are sentenced to be deported. Or if the criminal register, that can be reason for deportation, shows that they have broken the law over the past year. A crime punished with 10 days in prison is enough to bring about deportation.

Helle Hougaard, psychiatrist at Sct. Hans Hospital in Roskilde thinks its difficult when a person who doesn't even know himself that he's seriously mentally ill, is deported because of criminal acts which are done due to delusions and hallucinations and are not done willfully.

Several of her patients have gotten deportation orders.

Helle Hougaard stresses that people with a serious mental illness react to their surroundings from a psychotic grasp of the world, that doesn't agree with the way other people see things.

But the immigration law dictates that a person can ask for residence on humanitarian grounds only two years after he had been deported. Meanwhile they must wait at home. The two year rule comes to make sure that people won't house criminal foreigners in Denmark.

Source: DR (Danish)

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