Danish PM: Syrians from Damascus Area Should Return Home

A picture taken on May 15, 2020 shows empty screens at almost empty Copenhagen Airport, am
LISELOTTE SABROE/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that Syrian refugees from the area around Damascus should return home because Denmark has assessed the region to be safe.

Hundreds of Syrian refugees are scheduled to have their residency permits revoked in the coming months. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Frederiksen said she agreed with the move.

“If you’re a refugee, it’s because you have a need for protection. And if that need disappears because you are not individually persecuted or there are no general conditions that require protection, then, of course, you have to return to the country you come from,” Prime Minister Frederiksen said, Jyllands-Posten reports.

She added that refugees who were able to learn skills in Denmark should put them to use by rebuilding their home country, saying: “This should have been the basis of Danish refugee policy from the start.”

The statement comes two months after the Danish government announced it would also be talking with migrants who have been unemployed for long periods of time about returning home.

Around 8,900 migrants are currently among the long-term unemployed in Denmark. The “dedicated return conversation” will apply to migrants who have lived in Denmark for more than five years and have received some form of welfare benefit for at least one and half of the last three years, a Danish government press release stated in February.

“We need to be more honest and direct. Some immigrants have been on social assistance for a long time. They have never succeeded in becoming part of society. Maybe it would be better for everyone if they returned to their own country,” Danish Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye said.

“I am therefore pleased that we are now introducing a dedicated return conversation where we can talk about the possibility of travelling home voluntarily with financial support from Danish society,” he said and added: “On the other hand, we do not insist on guiding all the foreigners who actually work and pay their taxes.”

Minister Tesfaye, despite being from a migrant background himself, has been outspoken on links between migration and crime in the past and defended the study of non-European migration to crime and unemployment rates in December of last year.

“I think you have to be proud of who you are and where you come from. I myself am half Ethiopian and 100 per cent Danish, and I am not afraid that people know their roots and are proud of their roots. But we as decision-makers need to get honest figures that say something about the challenges of integration,” he said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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