Denmark: Majority Agree Asylum Should Focus on Repatriation, Not Integration

Refugees, mainly from Syria, speak with a Danish policeman after arriving in Rodby, southern Denmark, from Germany on September 7, 2015. Europe's migrant crisis has exposed sharp rifts in the 28-nation European Union, with Germany leading calls to take in many more people fleeing war and upheaval in the Middle …
BAX LINDHARDT/AFP/Getty
VIRGINIA HALE

The majority of Danes have said they back immigration proposals which would shift the focus of asylum policy to repatriating refugees when the conflict ends, rather than their integration into Denmark.

A Voxmeter poll conducted for news service Ritzau found that 54 percent of respondents agree with the “paradigm shift” in migration policy which has long been advocated by the populist Danish People’s Party (DF), the nation’s second largest electoral force.

Only 24 percent of people surveyed disagreed with the proposal, which said asylum in Denmark must be a temporary thing and that policy should focus on refugees’ repatriation, once conflict ends, rather than their integration as a permanent citizen.

The proposal largely has the support of both Denmark’s liberal governing party, Venstre, and the Social Democrats, the nation’s largest party and primary centre-left opposition, with the only difference from DF’s stance being that they believe it is not necessary to block refugees from work or accessing education in order to ensure their repatriation.

“The idea is that we equip them with skills while they are requiring asylum, and then when their country is safe they can return home and help with the rebuilding effort,” said Venstre immigration spokesman Marcus Knuth.

Only one-tenth of the 100,000 asylum seekers to have arrived in Denmark over the past decade have so far returned home, according to Berlinske. But the newspaper said that Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen last month promised to draw up new immigration rules this autumn with input from DF.

The survey results were welcomed by DF immigration spokesman Martin Henriksen, who said he was proud of his party’s role in “putting this issue on the political agenda”.

With the nation having taken a significantly tough line on third world migration and problems the phenomena brings than its European neighbours, Denmark’s immigration politics bear little resemblance to those in Sweden, with Danish foreign minister Michael Aastrup Jensen saying “it is like [political parties in the two nations] live in different worlds”.

After elections at the weekend, Jensen criticised the refusal of other Swedish parties to even cooperate with the anti-mass migration Sweden Democrats, commenting that “Sweden is at a place where Denmark was in the 1990s, where you call someone racist if they talk about the problems that really exist.”

By contrast, Breitbart London reported how even the left in Denmark was unveiling its own “ambitious” plans earlier this year on how the country should slash the number of third world migrants.

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