The Danish government has published draft legislation which would see refugees stripped of their valuables. So outrageous is the plan, that a Danish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has defected from the ruling party in protest. The immigration reform bill, which is yet to be approved by parliament, has caused widespread outrage but also seen some support.
According to the immigration ministry, it would give authorities “the power to search the clothing and luggage of asylum-seekers and other migrants without a permit to stay in Denmark with a view to finding assets which may cover expenses.”
In essence, refugees would have their personal items confiscated by the government in order to pay for their stay in Denmark.
A government spokesperson attempted to downplay the plan, noting that “it is explicitly mentioned in the bill before Parliament that the new rule on seizure will only apply to assets of a considerable value.”
Jens Rohde announced that he was leaving the ruling Liberal party because of the proposal, as well as other cuts to benefits for refugees. He will join the leftwing Social-Liberal party.
“I’m wondering and I’m concerned that there’s no major outrage among Danes, that there aren’t more people standing up and saying this can’t be right,” he said. “It cannot be right that we have to accept that they take the last bits of jewellery and the last dignity from refugees when they arrive to Denmark.”
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