Denmark has begun confiscating large amounts of cash and valuables from migrants in order to help fund their housing, healthcare and food.
The controversial “Jewellery Act” proposed late last year stirred controversy worldwide after some compared the move to Nazi practices during the Second World War.
The law is meant to relieve some of the pressure from the taxpayers for the burden of housing, feeding, clothing and providing healthcare to new migrants. Although the law has been on the books since February, this month marks the first time it has ever been put into practice, Zeit reports.
Danish police this week seized a total of €11,000 from a group of five Iranian nationals who had attempted to enter the country with false documentation. The group included two men aged 26 and 35 along with three women of unknown ages. The total in kroner seized was around 80,000, which is well above the 10,000 kroner limit enshrined into the law.
The parliament in Denmark has recently tightened regulations on migrants coming into the country. The new regulations have included shortening the duration of residence permits and putting a greater limit on the number of family reunifications.
Family reunification in neighbouring Germany lacks the same kind of stringent regulation, and as such many expect that it alone will add over 500,000 new migrants into the existing German migrant population that is already over 1.8 million.
The Danish People’s Party (DF) is one of the main drivers behind the tightening of controls which they claim is in order to dissuade migrants from wanting to come to Denmark in the first place.
A spokesman for the DF said: “What we are saying to refugees is: if you want to come to Europe you had better steer clear of Denmark.” The DF have also recently floated the idea of a Danish referendum, or “Danexit” should Brexit succeed, and now that there has been a vote for the UK to leave the European Union (EU) the party will likely seek one for Denmark.
Nils Muižnieks, Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe, expressed severe doubts over the new Danish laws saying earlier this year: “I believe that such a measure could amount to an infringement of the human dignity of the persons concerned.” A police officer in the Danish capital of Copenhagen also came out against the law claiming that he was not hired “to loot refugees”.
Though for many the Danish plan is not ideal, it is in tune with what many economists are saying about how migrants will effect the economy. Experts at think tanks across Europe have put aside the narratives that say migrants will help strengthen European economies and are now much more pessimistic about the effects of migrants in the long term.
The latest German study from the Institute for Employment Research claims that long-term unemployment will rise and tax revenues will fall because of mass migration.