The European far right dreamed of it. The Danish Social Democrats are ready to do it. In Copenhagen, MEPs are currently debating a bill which, if adopted – and should be adopted without difficulty – will allow Denmark to outsource the reception of asylum seekers as well as the handling of asylum seekers. load refugees to one or more third countries, among which Rwanda is the favorite.
Determined to win back the votes of voters who had left for the far right, Social Democratic leader Mette Frederiksen had made it a campaign commitment. In power since 2019, she has not ceased since to toughen an already ultra-restrictive migration policy. In 2020, 1,547 people applied for asylum in Denmark, the lowest figure since 1992.
But for Mette Frederiksen, it’s still too much: in January, she recalled that her ambition was to “Reduce to zero” the number of asylum seekers in their country. According to the bill, migrants arriving in Denmark will be registered and their fingerprints checked to ensure they have not sought asylum elsewhere in Europe. Then, they will be put on a plane, bound for Africa, where a third country will take over.
The text specifies that “Denmark will not have to provide protection in the event that the foreigner obtains asylum after the effective processing of the asylum application in the third country has been completed. On the other hand, protection will have to be ensured by the third country concerned. If the foreigner is refused asylum, it will also be the third country in question which will have to take charge of the expulsion of the person in question ”. Denmark intends to discharge all responsibility.
Very sick people could benefit from an exemption, if“There is no access to necessary and adequate health care in the third country”. An asylum seeker will not be returned to the country they have fled, nor to a country where they “ risk of being sentenced to death or subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or where there is no protection against return to such a country ”. However, there will be no exceptions for unaccompanied minors.
Faced with unanimous criticism from NGOs, Mattias Tesfaye, the Minister of Immigration (himself the son of a refugee) assures that the system will be “More humane and fair”, because it will reduce “Considerably the number of refugees and migrants who drown in the Mediterranean and are exposed to abuses on the migratory routes”.
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