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How progressive Denmark grew to become the face of the anti-migration left

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Danish authorities have rescinded protections for some already settled refugees and put them in dreary deportation facilities like this one in
Kaershovedgaard. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Put up)

Remark

KAERSHOVEDGAARD, Denmark — Zero asylum. Ship them again to Syria. Claims must be sorted someplace else. It could sound just like the rhetoric of the far proper, however on this rich, Scandinavian welfare state, it has change into the political middle.

Denmark, well mannered and progressive, is profoundly skeptical of asylum seekers. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, of the center-left Social Democrats, has touted a imaginative and prescient of “zero” individuals arriving to Denmark outdoors the United Nations resettlement system. A key precedence for her authorities: working with European Union allies to arrange claims-processing facilities far-off.

Even because the nation touts its human rights file overseas, Danish authorities are threatening already settled refugees with deportation to Syria, claiming in opposition to appreciable proof that the Damascus space and two different areas are secure. They will’t truly ship individuals again — Denmark doesn’t acknowledge the Syrian authorities — however many Syrians dwell in worry of being kicked out, and small numbers languish in deportation facilities. The Kaershovedgaard middle is actually a former jail.

The Danish case presents a vivid instance of how far-right concepts are flourishing, even the place the far proper has struggled to achieve energy. For some, Denmark demonstrates how wealthy democracies are eroding refugee and asylum protections, shifting blame and shirking accountability — all with out meaningfully addressing root causes. And Denmark might preview the place the E.U. is headed, because the 27-nation bloc warily watches rising migration numbers and mulls a extra restrictive course.

Migration to Italy is soaring. And it’s still the off-season.

Denmark’s hard-line stance doesn’t apply to everybody searching for refuge. The nation final 12 months welcomed tens of 1000’s of Ukrainian refugees, easing their path to high school and work.

Nadia Hardman, a researcher within the refugee and migrant rights division of Human Rights Watch, known as Denmark’s insurance policies “racist, duplicitous and hypocritical.”

In an announcement, Kaare Dybvad, Denmark’s minister of immigration and integration, known as that characterization “offensive” and “missing of the seriousness that’s required when speaking concerning the Authorities’s insurance policies.”

The federal government’s purpose isn’t zero asylum, he mentioned, however zero individuals arriving by means of unofficial channels. “Refugees ought to come to Denmark by means of the U.N. resettlement system the place they are going to be chosen on the premise of humanitarian standards,” he mentioned. Up to now three years, the nation of practically 6 million has accepted fewer than 250 refugees by means of that program, based on data from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The U.N. refugee company has been essential of Denmark’s method. “It was by no means the intention that refugees have been to be subjected to fixed reassessments as soon as their safety wants had first been established,” the UNHCR Illustration for the Nordic and Baltic International locations mentioned in recommendations from November.

Frederiksen, the prime minister, declined an interview with The Washington Put up, in addition to a request for remark.

As a result of Denmark has opted out of most of the E.U.’s immigration and asylum guidelines, not all its insurance policies are replicable. However the nation’s hard-line rhetoric, its insistence on short-term safety and its give attention to externalizing accountability have echoes throughout the continent.

Fortress Europe can’t stop immigration numbers from rising

“The Danish method might change into the European mainstream,” mentioned Kasper Sand Kjaer, a member of Denmark’s Parliament and the Social Democrats’ spokesman on immigration and integration.

Contained in the high-walled Kaershovedgaard middle, deep within the Danish countryside, that could be a chilling thought. Dounia Ibrahim Khalaf and Rangin Mohamed Belal, each Syrians from the Damascus space, are amongst these caught right here.

Neither would contemplate returning to Syria, and Denmark can’t power them. However it could maintain them in what the federal government calls a “return center” whereas they look forward to additional phrase on their instances. They aren’t allowed to hunt employment. They should be current for day by day check-ins, which, mixed with a scarcity of transportation, limit how far they’ll go. Worse than any of the actual restrictions, they are saying, is the surreal limbo. “When,” Khalaf requested, “is that this all going to finish?”

Denmark was not at all times like this.

Thirty years in the past, the nation was comparatively open and welcoming, with robust protections for asylum seekers and refugees. However that began to vary within the Nineties, because the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the far-right Danish Individuals’s Celebration proved politically potent.

Anti-immigrant voices bought the concept Denmark’s success was a results of its homogeneity — that defending the welfare state required defending “Danishness.”

Greek court rejects charges against aid workers, including Sarah Mardini of ‘The Swimmers’

Political figures on the precise began saying that refugees ought to finally be despatched again to their dwelling international locations, recalled Haifaa Awad, a health care provider who serves as chairwoman of the Danish help group Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke. “This was a right-wing agenda, however it was extensively accepted by different events that if you wish to get into energy, it’s a must to play with their discourse.”

Europe’s inflow of refugees in 2015 and 2016 helped flip speaking factors into legislation. In 2015, the Danish Parliament launched a brand new short-term safety standing that may very well be withdrawn when circumstances in dwelling international locations enhance even barely. In 2016, the federal government granted authorities the right to confiscate the jewelry and valuables of new arrivals, supposedly to fund their keep. “Anti-ghetto laws” sought to restrict the variety of “non-Western” individuals residing in sure neighborhoods.

Denmark’s political events have been “competing about being harder-line hard-liners,” Awad mentioned.

In 2019, the Danish Immigration Service started reviewing the residence permits of Syrian refugees from Damascus and the Rif Damascus province. Since then, greater than 1,000 Syrians have had their residence permits reassessed, and greater than 100 have had their permits revoked, according to the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

Human rights and authorized specialists word that almost all of revocations are overturned on attraction, which means the coverage has little affect past terrifying newcomers and sending small numbers of others to attend in dreary camps. The cruelty, critics argue, is the purpose.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned the thought of sending refugees again to Syria. UNHCR has additionally expressed concern. Nonetheless, the Danish Immigration Service lately announced that it considers two extra areas of Syria secure, throwing extra Syrians in Denmark right into a panic.

“Based mostly on appreciable proof, it’s the Immigration Service’s evaluation that the final circumstances within the Damascus, Rural Damascus, Tartous, and Latakia provinces now not implies a basic threat of being subjected to abuse” that will violate European guidelines, the Danish Immigration Service mentioned in an announcement emailed to The Put up.

Raghdaa Janoudi, a Syrian from Latakia who has seen her case reopened after residing, working and elevating her youngsters in Denmark for years, known as the designation “surprising.”

Mette Roerup, a retiree affiliated with Grandparents for Asylum, a coalition of activists who help refugees, mentioned many Danes she meets stay unaware — or just unwilling to just accept — what is going on.

“Once I inform them what we’re doing, individuals don’t imagine me,” she mentioned. “They are saying, ‘We Danes don’t deal with individuals like that.’”

Mohammad Rona, a newly elected lawmaker who serves as a spokesman on immigration for the Moderates, one in all three events within the coalition authorities, objects to the tone of discuss immigration in Denmark.

“Worry of ‘the foreigner’ has outlined the controversy in Denmark for the previous 20 years,” he mentioned. “It has gained elections and created tunnel imaginative and prescient in political deliberations. The Moderates wish to have a extra nuanced debate.”

Rona insists that immigrants can thrive in Denmark, in the event that they embrace it. He presents his story for instance. He fled Afghanistan as a toddler within the Nineties and settled in Copenhagen along with his household. They targeted on integrating — a reality he performs up. “It’s essential for me to say, ‘Hey, you’ve gotten all alternatives to be taught the language and to get a job and so forth and be part of the society,’” he mentioned.

However newcomers don’t essentially get that likelihood.

Abdullah Alsalloum fled Damascus as a toddler, trekking north to Denmark along with his household. They did precisely what officers recommend: They settled in a smaller city, not the large metropolis. Alsalloum began college, studied Danish and English, and joined the soccer group.

In his Danish classroom, he soaked up classes on democracy and human rights. “No matter you wish to do, you are able to do it. No matter you wish to say, you’ll be able to say it, and no person can power you to do something. That’s what they taught us.”

After years in Denmark, his household bought known as in for an interview with immigration officers. Not lengthy after, authorities instructed them it was secure to return to Damascus. Abdullah figured he may attraction his case. However he fearful concerning the prospects for his mother.

Moderately than threat ending up in a deportation middle, they fled to Germany, the place they have been lately granted residence permits, he mentioned. In September, he enrolled at college close to the Denmark-Germany border — a mustachioed 19-year-old within the ninth grade, beginning over but once more.

“Going by means of this complete course of discourages integration, since you lose belief in authorities,” mentioned Marie Juul Petersen, a senior researcher on the Danish Institute for Human Rights. “Individuals are met with such combined alerts: ‘Ought to I put together my youngsters to go away tomorrow, or for integration?’”

Requested about Alsalloum’s story, Rona of the Moderates mentioned this type of case is “very troublesome, particularly when there are kids concerned.”

“As I discussed,” he mentioned, “I don’t learn about this Syrian stuff but.”

Kjaer, the spokesman on immigration for the ruling occasion, mentioned the federal government was exploring whether or not younger ladies from the Damascus space may keep in Denmark if they’ve the potential to fill in-demand jobs corresponding to nursing. These younger ladies “wish to take part, have a job,” he mentioned, however are left in a “no man’s land, or no lady’s land.”

“Perhaps,” he mentioned, “we are able to discover a resolution for that restricted group.”

Florian Elabdi contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT


Danish authorities have rescinded protections for some already settled refugees and put them in dreary deportation facilities like this one in
Kaershovedgaard. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Put up)

Remark

KAERSHOVEDGAARD, Denmark — Zero asylum. Ship them again to Syria. Claims must be sorted someplace else. It could sound just like the rhetoric of the far proper, however on this rich, Scandinavian welfare state, it has change into the political middle.

Denmark, well mannered and progressive, is profoundly skeptical of asylum seekers. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, of the center-left Social Democrats, has touted a imaginative and prescient of “zero” individuals arriving to Denmark outdoors the United Nations resettlement system. A key precedence for her authorities: working with European Union allies to arrange claims-processing facilities far-off.

Even because the nation touts its human rights file overseas, Danish authorities are threatening already settled refugees with deportation to Syria, claiming in opposition to appreciable proof that the Damascus space and two different areas are secure. They will’t truly ship individuals again — Denmark doesn’t acknowledge the Syrian authorities — however many Syrians dwell in worry of being kicked out, and small numbers languish in deportation facilities. The Kaershovedgaard middle is actually a former jail.

The Danish case presents a vivid instance of how far-right concepts are flourishing, even the place the far proper has struggled to achieve energy. For some, Denmark demonstrates how wealthy democracies are eroding refugee and asylum protections, shifting blame and shirking accountability — all with out meaningfully addressing root causes. And Denmark might preview the place the E.U. is headed, because the 27-nation bloc warily watches rising migration numbers and mulls a extra restrictive course.

Migration to Italy is soaring. And it’s still the off-season.

Denmark’s hard-line stance doesn’t apply to everybody searching for refuge. The nation final 12 months welcomed tens of 1000’s of Ukrainian refugees, easing their path to high school and work.

Nadia Hardman, a researcher within the refugee and migrant rights division of Human Rights Watch, known as Denmark’s insurance policies “racist, duplicitous and hypocritical.”

In an announcement, Kaare Dybvad, Denmark’s minister of immigration and integration, known as that characterization “offensive” and “missing of the seriousness that’s required when speaking concerning the Authorities’s insurance policies.”

The federal government’s purpose isn’t zero asylum, he mentioned, however zero individuals arriving by means of unofficial channels. “Refugees ought to come to Denmark by means of the U.N. resettlement system the place they are going to be chosen on the premise of humanitarian standards,” he mentioned. Up to now three years, the nation of practically 6 million has accepted fewer than 250 refugees by means of that program, based on data from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The U.N. refugee company has been essential of Denmark’s method. “It was by no means the intention that refugees have been to be subjected to fixed reassessments as soon as their safety wants had first been established,” the UNHCR Illustration for the Nordic and Baltic International locations mentioned in recommendations from November.

Frederiksen, the prime minister, declined an interview with The Washington Put up, in addition to a request for remark.

As a result of Denmark has opted out of most of the E.U.’s immigration and asylum guidelines, not all its insurance policies are replicable. However the nation’s hard-line rhetoric, its insistence on short-term safety and its give attention to externalizing accountability have echoes throughout the continent.

Fortress Europe can’t stop immigration numbers from rising

“The Danish method might change into the European mainstream,” mentioned Kasper Sand Kjaer, a member of Denmark’s Parliament and the Social Democrats’ spokesman on immigration and integration.

Contained in the high-walled Kaershovedgaard middle, deep within the Danish countryside, that could be a chilling thought. Dounia Ibrahim Khalaf and Rangin Mohamed Belal, each Syrians from the Damascus space, are amongst these caught right here.

Neither would contemplate returning to Syria, and Denmark can’t power them. However it could maintain them in what the federal government calls a “return center” whereas they look forward to additional phrase on their instances. They aren’t allowed to hunt employment. They should be current for day by day check-ins, which, mixed with a scarcity of transportation, limit how far they’ll go. Worse than any of the actual restrictions, they are saying, is the surreal limbo. “When,” Khalaf requested, “is that this all going to finish?”

Denmark was not at all times like this.

Thirty years in the past, the nation was comparatively open and welcoming, with robust protections for asylum seekers and refugees. However that began to vary within the Nineties, because the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the far-right Danish Individuals’s Celebration proved politically potent.

Anti-immigrant voices bought the concept Denmark’s success was a results of its homogeneity — that defending the welfare state required defending “Danishness.”

Greek court rejects charges against aid workers, including Sarah Mardini of ‘The Swimmers’

Political figures on the precise began saying that refugees ought to finally be despatched again to their dwelling international locations, recalled Haifaa Awad, a health care provider who serves as chairwoman of the Danish help group Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke. “This was a right-wing agenda, however it was extensively accepted by different events that if you wish to get into energy, it’s a must to play with their discourse.”

Europe’s inflow of refugees in 2015 and 2016 helped flip speaking factors into legislation. In 2015, the Danish Parliament launched a brand new short-term safety standing that may very well be withdrawn when circumstances in dwelling international locations enhance even barely. In 2016, the federal government granted authorities the right to confiscate the jewelry and valuables of new arrivals, supposedly to fund their keep. “Anti-ghetto laws” sought to restrict the variety of “non-Western” individuals residing in sure neighborhoods.

Denmark’s political events have been “competing about being harder-line hard-liners,” Awad mentioned.

In 2019, the Danish Immigration Service started reviewing the residence permits of Syrian refugees from Damascus and the Rif Damascus province. Since then, greater than 1,000 Syrians have had their residence permits reassessed, and greater than 100 have had their permits revoked, according to the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

Human rights and authorized specialists word that almost all of revocations are overturned on attraction, which means the coverage has little affect past terrifying newcomers and sending small numbers of others to attend in dreary camps. The cruelty, critics argue, is the purpose.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned the thought of sending refugees again to Syria. UNHCR has additionally expressed concern. Nonetheless, the Danish Immigration Service lately announced that it considers two extra areas of Syria secure, throwing extra Syrians in Denmark right into a panic.

“Based mostly on appreciable proof, it’s the Immigration Service’s evaluation that the final circumstances within the Damascus, Rural Damascus, Tartous, and Latakia provinces now not implies a basic threat of being subjected to abuse” that will violate European guidelines, the Danish Immigration Service mentioned in an announcement emailed to The Put up.

Raghdaa Janoudi, a Syrian from Latakia who has seen her case reopened after residing, working and elevating her youngsters in Denmark for years, known as the designation “surprising.”

Mette Roerup, a retiree affiliated with Grandparents for Asylum, a coalition of activists who help refugees, mentioned many Danes she meets stay unaware — or just unwilling to just accept — what is going on.

“Once I inform them what we’re doing, individuals don’t imagine me,” she mentioned. “They are saying, ‘We Danes don’t deal with individuals like that.’”

Mohammad Rona, a newly elected lawmaker who serves as a spokesman on immigration for the Moderates, one in all three events within the coalition authorities, objects to the tone of discuss immigration in Denmark.

“Worry of ‘the foreigner’ has outlined the controversy in Denmark for the previous 20 years,” he mentioned. “It has gained elections and created tunnel imaginative and prescient in political deliberations. The Moderates wish to have a extra nuanced debate.”

Rona insists that immigrants can thrive in Denmark, in the event that they embrace it. He presents his story for instance. He fled Afghanistan as a toddler within the Nineties and settled in Copenhagen along with his household. They targeted on integrating — a reality he performs up. “It’s essential for me to say, ‘Hey, you’ve gotten all alternatives to be taught the language and to get a job and so forth and be part of the society,’” he mentioned.

However newcomers don’t essentially get that likelihood.

Abdullah Alsalloum fled Damascus as a toddler, trekking north to Denmark along with his household. They did precisely what officers recommend: They settled in a smaller city, not the large metropolis. Alsalloum began college, studied Danish and English, and joined the soccer group.

In his Danish classroom, he soaked up classes on democracy and human rights. “No matter you wish to do, you are able to do it. No matter you wish to say, you’ll be able to say it, and no person can power you to do something. That’s what they taught us.”

After years in Denmark, his household bought known as in for an interview with immigration officers. Not lengthy after, authorities instructed them it was secure to return to Damascus. Abdullah figured he may attraction his case. However he fearful concerning the prospects for his mother.

Moderately than threat ending up in a deportation middle, they fled to Germany, the place they have been lately granted residence permits, he mentioned. In September, he enrolled at college close to the Denmark-Germany border — a mustachioed 19-year-old within the ninth grade, beginning over but once more.

“Going by means of this complete course of discourages integration, since you lose belief in authorities,” mentioned Marie Juul Petersen, a senior researcher on the Danish Institute for Human Rights. “Individuals are met with such combined alerts: ‘Ought to I put together my youngsters to go away tomorrow, or for integration?’”

Requested about Alsalloum’s story, Rona of the Moderates mentioned this type of case is “very troublesome, particularly when there are kids concerned.”

“As I discussed,” he mentioned, “I don’t learn about this Syrian stuff but.”

Kjaer, the spokesman on immigration for the ruling occasion, mentioned the federal government was exploring whether or not younger ladies from the Damascus space may keep in Denmark if they’ve the potential to fill in-demand jobs corresponding to nursing. These younger ladies “wish to take part, have a job,” he mentioned, however are left in a “no man’s land, or no lady’s land.”

“Perhaps,” he mentioned, “we are able to discover a resolution for that restricted group.”

Florian Elabdi contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT


Danish authorities have rescinded protections for some already settled refugees and put them in dreary deportation facilities like this one in
Kaershovedgaard. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Put up)

Remark

KAERSHOVEDGAARD, Denmark — Zero asylum. Ship them again to Syria. Claims must be sorted someplace else. It could sound just like the rhetoric of the far proper, however on this rich, Scandinavian welfare state, it has change into the political middle.

Denmark, well mannered and progressive, is profoundly skeptical of asylum seekers. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, of the center-left Social Democrats, has touted a imaginative and prescient of “zero” individuals arriving to Denmark outdoors the United Nations resettlement system. A key precedence for her authorities: working with European Union allies to arrange claims-processing facilities far-off.

Even because the nation touts its human rights file overseas, Danish authorities are threatening already settled refugees with deportation to Syria, claiming in opposition to appreciable proof that the Damascus space and two different areas are secure. They will’t truly ship individuals again — Denmark doesn’t acknowledge the Syrian authorities — however many Syrians dwell in worry of being kicked out, and small numbers languish in deportation facilities. The Kaershovedgaard middle is actually a former jail.

The Danish case presents a vivid instance of how far-right concepts are flourishing, even the place the far proper has struggled to achieve energy. For some, Denmark demonstrates how wealthy democracies are eroding refugee and asylum protections, shifting blame and shirking accountability — all with out meaningfully addressing root causes. And Denmark might preview the place the E.U. is headed, because the 27-nation bloc warily watches rising migration numbers and mulls a extra restrictive course.

Migration to Italy is soaring. And it’s still the off-season.

Denmark’s hard-line stance doesn’t apply to everybody searching for refuge. The nation final 12 months welcomed tens of 1000’s of Ukrainian refugees, easing their path to high school and work.

Nadia Hardman, a researcher within the refugee and migrant rights division of Human Rights Watch, known as Denmark’s insurance policies “racist, duplicitous and hypocritical.”

In an announcement, Kaare Dybvad, Denmark’s minister of immigration and integration, known as that characterization “offensive” and “missing of the seriousness that’s required when speaking concerning the Authorities’s insurance policies.”

The federal government’s purpose isn’t zero asylum, he mentioned, however zero individuals arriving by means of unofficial channels. “Refugees ought to come to Denmark by means of the U.N. resettlement system the place they are going to be chosen on the premise of humanitarian standards,” he mentioned. Up to now three years, the nation of practically 6 million has accepted fewer than 250 refugees by means of that program, based on data from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The U.N. refugee company has been essential of Denmark’s method. “It was by no means the intention that refugees have been to be subjected to fixed reassessments as soon as their safety wants had first been established,” the UNHCR Illustration for the Nordic and Baltic International locations mentioned in recommendations from November.

Frederiksen, the prime minister, declined an interview with The Washington Put up, in addition to a request for remark.

As a result of Denmark has opted out of most of the E.U.’s immigration and asylum guidelines, not all its insurance policies are replicable. However the nation’s hard-line rhetoric, its insistence on short-term safety and its give attention to externalizing accountability have echoes throughout the continent.

Fortress Europe can’t stop immigration numbers from rising

“The Danish method might change into the European mainstream,” mentioned Kasper Sand Kjaer, a member of Denmark’s Parliament and the Social Democrats’ spokesman on immigration and integration.

Contained in the high-walled Kaershovedgaard middle, deep within the Danish countryside, that could be a chilling thought. Dounia Ibrahim Khalaf and Rangin Mohamed Belal, each Syrians from the Damascus space, are amongst these caught right here.

Neither would contemplate returning to Syria, and Denmark can’t power them. However it could maintain them in what the federal government calls a “return center” whereas they look forward to additional phrase on their instances. They aren’t allowed to hunt employment. They should be current for day by day check-ins, which, mixed with a scarcity of transportation, limit how far they’ll go. Worse than any of the actual restrictions, they are saying, is the surreal limbo. “When,” Khalaf requested, “is that this all going to finish?”

Denmark was not at all times like this.

Thirty years in the past, the nation was comparatively open and welcoming, with robust protections for asylum seekers and refugees. However that began to vary within the Nineties, because the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the far-right Danish Individuals’s Celebration proved politically potent.

Anti-immigrant voices bought the concept Denmark’s success was a results of its homogeneity — that defending the welfare state required defending “Danishness.”

Greek court rejects charges against aid workers, including Sarah Mardini of ‘The Swimmers’

Political figures on the precise began saying that refugees ought to finally be despatched again to their dwelling international locations, recalled Haifaa Awad, a health care provider who serves as chairwoman of the Danish help group Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke. “This was a right-wing agenda, however it was extensively accepted by different events that if you wish to get into energy, it’s a must to play with their discourse.”

Europe’s inflow of refugees in 2015 and 2016 helped flip speaking factors into legislation. In 2015, the Danish Parliament launched a brand new short-term safety standing that may very well be withdrawn when circumstances in dwelling international locations enhance even barely. In 2016, the federal government granted authorities the right to confiscate the jewelry and valuables of new arrivals, supposedly to fund their keep. “Anti-ghetto laws” sought to restrict the variety of “non-Western” individuals residing in sure neighborhoods.

Denmark’s political events have been “competing about being harder-line hard-liners,” Awad mentioned.

In 2019, the Danish Immigration Service started reviewing the residence permits of Syrian refugees from Damascus and the Rif Damascus province. Since then, greater than 1,000 Syrians have had their residence permits reassessed, and greater than 100 have had their permits revoked, according to the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

Human rights and authorized specialists word that almost all of revocations are overturned on attraction, which means the coverage has little affect past terrifying newcomers and sending small numbers of others to attend in dreary camps. The cruelty, critics argue, is the purpose.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned the thought of sending refugees again to Syria. UNHCR has additionally expressed concern. Nonetheless, the Danish Immigration Service lately announced that it considers two extra areas of Syria secure, throwing extra Syrians in Denmark right into a panic.

“Based mostly on appreciable proof, it’s the Immigration Service’s evaluation that the final circumstances within the Damascus, Rural Damascus, Tartous, and Latakia provinces now not implies a basic threat of being subjected to abuse” that will violate European guidelines, the Danish Immigration Service mentioned in an announcement emailed to The Put up.

Raghdaa Janoudi, a Syrian from Latakia who has seen her case reopened after residing, working and elevating her youngsters in Denmark for years, known as the designation “surprising.”

Mette Roerup, a retiree affiliated with Grandparents for Asylum, a coalition of activists who help refugees, mentioned many Danes she meets stay unaware — or just unwilling to just accept — what is going on.

“Once I inform them what we’re doing, individuals don’t imagine me,” she mentioned. “They are saying, ‘We Danes don’t deal with individuals like that.’”

Mohammad Rona, a newly elected lawmaker who serves as a spokesman on immigration for the Moderates, one in all three events within the coalition authorities, objects to the tone of discuss immigration in Denmark.

“Worry of ‘the foreigner’ has outlined the controversy in Denmark for the previous 20 years,” he mentioned. “It has gained elections and created tunnel imaginative and prescient in political deliberations. The Moderates wish to have a extra nuanced debate.”

Rona insists that immigrants can thrive in Denmark, in the event that they embrace it. He presents his story for instance. He fled Afghanistan as a toddler within the Nineties and settled in Copenhagen along with his household. They targeted on integrating — a reality he performs up. “It’s essential for me to say, ‘Hey, you’ve gotten all alternatives to be taught the language and to get a job and so forth and be part of the society,’” he mentioned.

However newcomers don’t essentially get that likelihood.

Abdullah Alsalloum fled Damascus as a toddler, trekking north to Denmark along with his household. They did precisely what officers recommend: They settled in a smaller city, not the large metropolis. Alsalloum began college, studied Danish and English, and joined the soccer group.

In his Danish classroom, he soaked up classes on democracy and human rights. “No matter you wish to do, you are able to do it. No matter you wish to say, you’ll be able to say it, and no person can power you to do something. That’s what they taught us.”

After years in Denmark, his household bought known as in for an interview with immigration officers. Not lengthy after, authorities instructed them it was secure to return to Damascus. Abdullah figured he may attraction his case. However he fearful concerning the prospects for his mother.

Moderately than threat ending up in a deportation middle, they fled to Germany, the place they have been lately granted residence permits, he mentioned. In September, he enrolled at college close to the Denmark-Germany border — a mustachioed 19-year-old within the ninth grade, beginning over but once more.

“Going by means of this complete course of discourages integration, since you lose belief in authorities,” mentioned Marie Juul Petersen, a senior researcher on the Danish Institute for Human Rights. “Individuals are met with such combined alerts: ‘Ought to I put together my youngsters to go away tomorrow, or for integration?’”

Requested about Alsalloum’s story, Rona of the Moderates mentioned this type of case is “very troublesome, particularly when there are kids concerned.”

“As I discussed,” he mentioned, “I don’t learn about this Syrian stuff but.”

Kjaer, the spokesman on immigration for the ruling occasion, mentioned the federal government was exploring whether or not younger ladies from the Damascus space may keep in Denmark if they’ve the potential to fill in-demand jobs corresponding to nursing. These younger ladies “wish to take part, have a job,” he mentioned, however are left in a “no man’s land, or no lady’s land.”

“Perhaps,” he mentioned, “we are able to discover a resolution for that restricted group.”

Florian Elabdi contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT


Danish authorities have rescinded protections for some already settled refugees and put them in dreary deportation facilities like this one in
Kaershovedgaard. (Lorenzo Tugnoli for The Washington Put up)

Remark

KAERSHOVEDGAARD, Denmark — Zero asylum. Ship them again to Syria. Claims must be sorted someplace else. It could sound just like the rhetoric of the far proper, however on this rich, Scandinavian welfare state, it has change into the political middle.

Denmark, well mannered and progressive, is profoundly skeptical of asylum seekers. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, of the center-left Social Democrats, has touted a imaginative and prescient of “zero” individuals arriving to Denmark outdoors the United Nations resettlement system. A key precedence for her authorities: working with European Union allies to arrange claims-processing facilities far-off.

Even because the nation touts its human rights file overseas, Danish authorities are threatening already settled refugees with deportation to Syria, claiming in opposition to appreciable proof that the Damascus space and two different areas are secure. They will’t truly ship individuals again — Denmark doesn’t acknowledge the Syrian authorities — however many Syrians dwell in worry of being kicked out, and small numbers languish in deportation facilities. The Kaershovedgaard middle is actually a former jail.

The Danish case presents a vivid instance of how far-right concepts are flourishing, even the place the far proper has struggled to achieve energy. For some, Denmark demonstrates how wealthy democracies are eroding refugee and asylum protections, shifting blame and shirking accountability — all with out meaningfully addressing root causes. And Denmark might preview the place the E.U. is headed, because the 27-nation bloc warily watches rising migration numbers and mulls a extra restrictive course.

Migration to Italy is soaring. And it’s still the off-season.

Denmark’s hard-line stance doesn’t apply to everybody searching for refuge. The nation final 12 months welcomed tens of 1000’s of Ukrainian refugees, easing their path to high school and work.

Nadia Hardman, a researcher within the refugee and migrant rights division of Human Rights Watch, known as Denmark’s insurance policies “racist, duplicitous and hypocritical.”

In an announcement, Kaare Dybvad, Denmark’s minister of immigration and integration, known as that characterization “offensive” and “missing of the seriousness that’s required when speaking concerning the Authorities’s insurance policies.”

The federal government’s purpose isn’t zero asylum, he mentioned, however zero individuals arriving by means of unofficial channels. “Refugees ought to come to Denmark by means of the U.N. resettlement system the place they are going to be chosen on the premise of humanitarian standards,” he mentioned. Up to now three years, the nation of practically 6 million has accepted fewer than 250 refugees by means of that program, based on data from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The U.N. refugee company has been essential of Denmark’s method. “It was by no means the intention that refugees have been to be subjected to fixed reassessments as soon as their safety wants had first been established,” the UNHCR Illustration for the Nordic and Baltic International locations mentioned in recommendations from November.

Frederiksen, the prime minister, declined an interview with The Washington Put up, in addition to a request for remark.

As a result of Denmark has opted out of most of the E.U.’s immigration and asylum guidelines, not all its insurance policies are replicable. However the nation’s hard-line rhetoric, its insistence on short-term safety and its give attention to externalizing accountability have echoes throughout the continent.

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“The Danish method might change into the European mainstream,” mentioned Kasper Sand Kjaer, a member of Denmark’s Parliament and the Social Democrats’ spokesman on immigration and integration.

Contained in the high-walled Kaershovedgaard middle, deep within the Danish countryside, that could be a chilling thought. Dounia Ibrahim Khalaf and Rangin Mohamed Belal, each Syrians from the Damascus space, are amongst these caught right here.

Neither would contemplate returning to Syria, and Denmark can’t power them. However it could maintain them in what the federal government calls a “return center” whereas they look forward to additional phrase on their instances. They aren’t allowed to hunt employment. They should be current for day by day check-ins, which, mixed with a scarcity of transportation, limit how far they’ll go. Worse than any of the actual restrictions, they are saying, is the surreal limbo. “When,” Khalaf requested, “is that this all going to finish?”

Denmark was not at all times like this.

Thirty years in the past, the nation was comparatively open and welcoming, with robust protections for asylum seekers and refugees. However that began to vary within the Nineties, because the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the far-right Danish Individuals’s Celebration proved politically potent.

Anti-immigrant voices bought the concept Denmark’s success was a results of its homogeneity — that defending the welfare state required defending “Danishness.”

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Political figures on the precise began saying that refugees ought to finally be despatched again to their dwelling international locations, recalled Haifaa Awad, a health care provider who serves as chairwoman of the Danish help group Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke. “This was a right-wing agenda, however it was extensively accepted by different events that if you wish to get into energy, it’s a must to play with their discourse.”

Europe’s inflow of refugees in 2015 and 2016 helped flip speaking factors into legislation. In 2015, the Danish Parliament launched a brand new short-term safety standing that may very well be withdrawn when circumstances in dwelling international locations enhance even barely. In 2016, the federal government granted authorities the right to confiscate the jewelry and valuables of new arrivals, supposedly to fund their keep. “Anti-ghetto laws” sought to restrict the variety of “non-Western” individuals residing in sure neighborhoods.

Denmark’s political events have been “competing about being harder-line hard-liners,” Awad mentioned.

In 2019, the Danish Immigration Service started reviewing the residence permits of Syrian refugees from Damascus and the Rif Damascus province. Since then, greater than 1,000 Syrians have had their residence permits reassessed, and greater than 100 have had their permits revoked, according to the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

Human rights and authorized specialists word that almost all of revocations are overturned on attraction, which means the coverage has little affect past terrifying newcomers and sending small numbers of others to attend in dreary camps. The cruelty, critics argue, is the purpose.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned the thought of sending refugees again to Syria. UNHCR has additionally expressed concern. Nonetheless, the Danish Immigration Service lately announced that it considers two extra areas of Syria secure, throwing extra Syrians in Denmark right into a panic.

“Based mostly on appreciable proof, it’s the Immigration Service’s evaluation that the final circumstances within the Damascus, Rural Damascus, Tartous, and Latakia provinces now not implies a basic threat of being subjected to abuse” that will violate European guidelines, the Danish Immigration Service mentioned in an announcement emailed to The Put up.

Raghdaa Janoudi, a Syrian from Latakia who has seen her case reopened after residing, working and elevating her youngsters in Denmark for years, known as the designation “surprising.”

Mette Roerup, a retiree affiliated with Grandparents for Asylum, a coalition of activists who help refugees, mentioned many Danes she meets stay unaware — or just unwilling to just accept — what is going on.

“Once I inform them what we’re doing, individuals don’t imagine me,” she mentioned. “They are saying, ‘We Danes don’t deal with individuals like that.’”

Mohammad Rona, a newly elected lawmaker who serves as a spokesman on immigration for the Moderates, one in all three events within the coalition authorities, objects to the tone of discuss immigration in Denmark.

“Worry of ‘the foreigner’ has outlined the controversy in Denmark for the previous 20 years,” he mentioned. “It has gained elections and created tunnel imaginative and prescient in political deliberations. The Moderates wish to have a extra nuanced debate.”

Rona insists that immigrants can thrive in Denmark, in the event that they embrace it. He presents his story for instance. He fled Afghanistan as a toddler within the Nineties and settled in Copenhagen along with his household. They targeted on integrating — a reality he performs up. “It’s essential for me to say, ‘Hey, you’ve gotten all alternatives to be taught the language and to get a job and so forth and be part of the society,’” he mentioned.

However newcomers don’t essentially get that likelihood.

Abdullah Alsalloum fled Damascus as a toddler, trekking north to Denmark along with his household. They did precisely what officers recommend: They settled in a smaller city, not the large metropolis. Alsalloum began college, studied Danish and English, and joined the soccer group.

In his Danish classroom, he soaked up classes on democracy and human rights. “No matter you wish to do, you are able to do it. No matter you wish to say, you’ll be able to say it, and no person can power you to do something. That’s what they taught us.”

After years in Denmark, his household bought known as in for an interview with immigration officers. Not lengthy after, authorities instructed them it was secure to return to Damascus. Abdullah figured he may attraction his case. However he fearful concerning the prospects for his mother.

Moderately than threat ending up in a deportation middle, they fled to Germany, the place they have been lately granted residence permits, he mentioned. In September, he enrolled at college close to the Denmark-Germany border — a mustachioed 19-year-old within the ninth grade, beginning over but once more.

“Going by means of this complete course of discourages integration, since you lose belief in authorities,” mentioned Marie Juul Petersen, a senior researcher on the Danish Institute for Human Rights. “Individuals are met with such combined alerts: ‘Ought to I put together my youngsters to go away tomorrow, or for integration?’”

Requested about Alsalloum’s story, Rona of the Moderates mentioned this type of case is “very troublesome, particularly when there are kids concerned.”

“As I discussed,” he mentioned, “I don’t learn about this Syrian stuff but.”

Kjaer, the spokesman on immigration for the ruling occasion, mentioned the federal government was exploring whether or not younger ladies from the Damascus space may keep in Denmark if they’ve the potential to fill in-demand jobs corresponding to nursing. These younger ladies “wish to take part, have a job,” he mentioned, however are left in a “no man’s land, or no lady’s land.”

“Perhaps,” he mentioned, “we are able to discover a resolution for that restricted group.”

Florian Elabdi contributed to this report.

Gaze week

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