Here’s what Denmark’s new immigration bill means for you
Danish lawmakers on Tuesday passed a controversial bill aiming to make the Scandinavian country a less attractive destination for refugees and migrants.
The bill includes several different measures, including allowing police to confiscate valuables and cash from migrants. Here are some of the main points:
— Police will be able to search migrants’ luggage and seize cash exceeding 10,000 kroner (1,340 euros, $1,450), as well as any individual items valued at more than that amount. Wedding rings and other items of sentimental value will be exempt.
Earlier this month the amount was raised from 3,000 kroner amid a public outcry and comparisons to Nazi Germany’s seizing of gold and valuables from Jews and others during World War II. After thorny negotiations, parliamentary backing for the proposal was secured a few days later by removing any upper limits on the value of items with a sentimental value.
The government has defended the searches, arguing that people who have lived their entire lives in Denmark may also be asked to sell valuables to qualify for social benefits.
Few people believe the seized cash and goods will raise any significant amounts of money.
“We are saying that if you want to come to Europe you should stay clear of Denmark,” said Martin Henriksen, a spokesman for the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party.
Switzerland has since the 1990s confiscated cash amounts, but not material goods, from people seeking asylum in the country if they exceed 1,000 Swiss francs ($995, 913 euros).