Denmark notably has one of the strictest rules when it comes to immigration in the European Union. The widespread concern of Denmark over immigration has made Danish lawmakers to introduce a number of laws that aims to keep the influx of refugees under control.
A new declaration was passed by the Danish parliament which makes it illegal for a residential area to be occupied by an immigrant majority population.
The bill was introduced by the populist Danish People’s Party (DF) was supported by the ruling coalition and the proposal was passed with a 55-54 vote on Monday.
The bill was aimed to address concerns that the immigrant majority population of a Copenhagen neighborhood has exerted undue influence over the community.
Their statement reads: “Parliament notes with concern that today there are areas in Denmark where the number of immigrants from non-Western countries and their descendants is above 50 percent. It is parliament’s opinion that Danes should not be a minority in residential areas in Denmark,”
Opposition of the bill regard it as being racist with the text indicating a distinction between ‘Danes” and “immigrants from non-Western countries.”
Social Liberals leader Martin Ostergaard posted on his Facebook page about his objection to the declaration. He wrote: “How will we ever achieve good integration if it is stated in advance that your ethnic background prohibits you from being considered Danish? This isn’t just trivial hair-splitting, this is alarming!”
Proponents of the bill defended the declaration and said that it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
In a debate on Saturday, DF MP Martin Henriksen said: “I think that most Danes are outraged that there are places in Denmark where the Danes are obviously a minority,”
Henriksen added: “If you look at the official statistics, there are places where immigrants and the descendants of immigrants from non-Western countries are the majority. We in the Danish Peoples’ Party think that’s a problem and we need to talk about it.”
Denmark has not been a magnet for immigration with a notable reputation as Western Europe’s least attractive country for refugees. However this has not stopped migrants from seeking asylum, as the country host about six hundred thousand refugees and immigrants which accounts for 12.3 percent of Denmark’s population.
Update: Original post mentioned "6 million" refugees. That information was corrected to "6 hundred thousand".