Denmark plans to strip refugees of their valuables when they enter the country looking for asylum. This includes jewelry, cash or anything else of monetary value in a move that will help pay for the refugees’ boarding and health care. This plan sounds so violating as it entails going through the refugees’ luggage to search for these items. Wedding rings and cell phones will be excluded, but it sounds as if anything else that has value will be seized
Needless to say immediate comparisons of Nazi Germany were made across the social media sites and even the big news outlets like the Washington Post pointed out the comparison of confiscating the jewelry from the refugees. They suggest that this had “a particularly bitter connotation in Europe where the Nazis seized gold and valuables from Jews and others during World War II,” reports Yahoo News on December 18.
This conjured up international outrage and prompted Denmark officials to defend their plans to confiscate the valuables of those arriving at their border. Denmark is not a country who is enthusiastic about having refugees flock to their country and they don’t make this a secret.
The government has placed adds in Lebanese newspaper discouraging migrants from coming to Denmark. The government has also shortened resident permits and delayed family reunification in the past year.
Compared to neighboring Sweden which had 150,000 asylum claims registered in their country this year as of November, Denmark is standing at about 18,000 in the same time period. Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen blamed the backlash on this plan to confiscate the refugees’ valuables on the media.
Rasmussen claims the media painted a bad picture of Denmark and he reminds the world that in Denmark in order to collect unemployment benefits, you must sell off your valuables in that country, so it treats its citizens the same way. Everyone must pay their own way and that includes losing valuable possessions if you are looking for help from the government.
HNGN News reports, the draft law was tabled this month, but parliament is expected to pass the law in January. HNGN also reports that the “Danish law mandates the government to provide refugees the same support and facilities that are provided to the country’s citizens, such as free healthcare and education.” Confiscating their valuables for payment of these free services is a confusing concept! They are not really free if you are paying for them with your valuables.
The law will give the Danish authorities the power to search clothes and luggage of the people seeking asylum, along with other migrants who do not have a permit to stay in Denmark. One thing is for sure, if it is Denmark’s aim is to keep refugees from looking for asylum in their country, this new plan of stripping people of their valuables should do the trick!
This just adds insult to injury for the people who have left everything behind attempting to find a safe place to live. . Part of this plan is to allow the refugees to keep wedding rings and cell phones, but most everything else is up for grabs.
Can you imagine standing in a line and watching a complete stranger go through your belongings and take what they deem valuable? This is a far cry from a welcome wagon!