Denmark Set to Keep Anti-Immigrant Policy

Denmark Set To Keep Anti-Immigrant Policy

By: Emily Wilson

Voters have shifted their allegiances in record numbers over the past few weeks. The new Moderates party is expanding quickly after running a campaign to form a government by bridging the traditional left-right divide in Danish politics.

Whatever the outcome, it appears certain that Denmark is destined to continue its contentious path as one of Europe's most restrictive nations regarding immigration and asylum.

Centre-right parties in the Scandinavian nation concur that its stringent immigration laws are the foundation for Danish national politics.

Meanwhile, the ruling Social Democratic party has embraced the anti-immigration agenda of the right to the point where its asylum policies have served as an example to European far-right parties like the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Germany and the Sweden Democrats in Sweden.

The remaining minor centre-left parties, including the Social Liberal Party and the leftist Red-Green Alliance, have publicly stated their opposition to Denmark's contentious immigration laws, which include the decision to revoke the residency permits of Syrian refugees and the push to transfer asylum seekers from Denmark to centres in Rwanda.

"Under the Bus"

It became especially clear when Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russian aggression were welcomed into Denmark in the spring.

Ukrainian refugees were exempt from Denmark's contentious so-called "immigration law," which permits authorities to seize some valuables from asylum seekers to pay for their stay, and allowed to work, study, and access social benefits almost immediately after arriving.

Denmark Immigration Visa
However, hundreds of refugees detained indefinitely in deportation centres across the nation are still impacted by Denmark's decision to revoke Syrians' residency permits.

Exaggerated Perceptions

Denmark has taken in fewer asylum seekers over the past ten years than neighbouring European nations. Denmark received the 20th-most asylum seekers per capita in 2021 among the 27 EU countries.

Over the past five years, official statistics show Sweden and Germany have received three to seven times as many asylum seekers per capita.

However, a recent study found that most Danish voters, regardless of political affiliation, have greatly exaggerated perceptions of immigration, with many believing that immigrants make up twice as many people as they do. That crime among young immigrants is six times more common than it is.

The "Ghetto Laws"

The so-called "ghetto laws" use employment, crime data, educational attainment, gross income, and, controversially, the percentage of "non-Western" residents to target low-income immigrant neighbourhoods for mass eviction and social housing reconstruction.

In the Vollsmose neighbourhood, a 13-story building demolished as part of Danish policies aimed at so-called "ghettos" or "parallel societies" left behind a sizable sand pit.

The criteria have continued to be stiffened, although many of the targeted areas have experienced significant socioeconomic improvements, changing Danish governments viewing the so-called "ghettos" as a growing social problem.

'Enough of Them Already.'

Anti-immigration sentiments have not been as prominent in this election campaign as in other recent elections due to the agreement on immigration policies among the major political parties.

However, with the newly formed Denmark Democrats, an anti-immigrant party led by Inger Sjoberg, a former immigration minister who was impeached for forcibly separating asylum-seeking couples, more far-right parties will be on the ballot this year. They have also gained attention as the right-wing parties compete for the same voters.

While a candidate for the anti-immigration party New Right went even further and added homosexuals and Jews to the list, the party also raised the idea of citizens being able to refuse home care from women who wear hijabs.