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article imageDenmark gains backing for planned 'seizure policy'

By Karen Graham     Jan 13, 2016 in World
Copenhagen - Migrants traveling to Denmark may end up coming up against a questionable policy that proponents claim will help pay the costs of allowing asylum-seekers into the country. Immigrants and asylum-seekers will have their valuables seized.
This latest plan is just one of a number of controversial ideas being studied in an attempt to slow or stop outright, the flow of immigrants coming into Denmark.
The plans have been condemned by the United Nations refugee agency as well as other rights groups who claim they go against international rules on refugees. However, Copenhagen is pressing ahead with initiatives that will make Denmark far less attractive as a place to settle down and raise a family.
Perhaps the word has already gone out because Denmark has seen only 20,000 people seeking asylum, far less than the 160,000 who have settled in Sweden and almost a million that have sought asylum in Germany, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The government was able to win a majority vote in Parliament on Tuesday that would alter proposed legislation, allowing authorities to seize migrants' cash and other individual items worth more than 10,000 kroner (£1,000; €1,340, $1,450). It will give new meaning to giving someone "the clothes off your back."
In a sentimental move, it was decided that wedding rings and other items with a sentimental value would not be included. The proposed legislation pertaining to the seizure of migrant's valuables has been likened to the treatment Nazi Germany put Jews through during the Holocaust, says the BBC.
On Wednesday, Denmark extended its border controls at the German border for an additional 20 days, with the measures to remain in place until February 3, but it was pointed out the measures could last even longer, reports Denmark's The Local.
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg said in a statement, “The government has followed the situation closely and on that background we are choosing to extend the border controls with Germany. It is not something that we do with pleasure because both the Swedish and Danish border controls hinder the free movement that we have worked toward in solidarity for many years."
Interestingly, some months ago, when the plight of Syrian refugees was an international story, the public saw images of Germans at a Munich railway station chanting, "Refugees are welcome here." But things have changed considerably.
There are the worries over the economic burden, to be sure, but the worries over security are the biggest concern, especially after the Paris attacks. There is now barbed wire barriers stretching across many borders, and Poland is now refusing to take any migrants.
Many people will say that Europe is not as hospitable as it was four or five months ago, and as the flow of refugees continues unabated, it leaves one to wonder, where will they go?
More about Asylum seekers, Denmark, seize valuables, costs of stay, treatment of jews
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