Migrant assets bill: Denmark Migrant Bill
Published: January 27, 2016
Migrant assets bill: Denmark Migrant Bill, Despite widespread condemnation, Denmark’s parliament on Tuesday approved drastic reforms curbing asylum seekers’ rights, including delaying family reunifications and confiscating migrants’ valuables.
The bill presented by the right-wing minority government of Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen was approved by a huge majority of 81 of the 109 lawmakers present, as members of the opposition Social Democrats backed the measures.
The bill was watered down significantly since it was originally proposed, with wedding rings and low-value items explicitly excluded from threat of confiscation in the final draft.
Approval had been widely expected, as the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, backed the measures as did government support parties the Danish People’s Party, the Conservatives and Liberal Alliance.
“There’s no simple answer for a single country, but until the world comes together on a joint solution (to the migrant crisis), Denmark needs to act,” MP Jakob Ellemann-Jensen of Rasmussen’s Venstre party said during the debate.
The Danish government has insisted the new law is needed to stem the flow of refugees even though Denmark and Sweden recently tightened their borders, a move that prompted Germany and Austria to turn back new arrivals heading for Scandinavia.
While international outrage has focused on a proposal allowing police to seize cash and valuables from refugees to help pay for their stay in asylum centres, rights activists have blasted a proposed three-year delay for family reunifications which they say breaches international conventions.
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