The Danish parliament will discuss on Thursday a highly controversial immigration bill, wanted by the government with the aim of completely blocking the arrival of new migrants in the country. In fact, the proposal provides that applications for asylum or other forms of international protection are examined in centers located outside the Danish territory, in a “third country” that has not yet been publicly identified, which will be responsible for accepting the asylum seekers even once their application has been accepted, and to deport migrants who have received a refusal.
In other words, if the bill is approved, migrants who apply for asylum in Denmark will still not be able to enter Danish territory even after having obtained refugee status: they will have to remain in the “third country”. Denmark could thus become the first European country to provide for the examination of asylum applications outside of Europe and to completely block the arrival of migrants on its territory.
The bill was presented by the Social Democratic government of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (center-left), but is also supported by the center-right opposition. It is receiving a lot of criticism from various international organizations dealing with migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, but it appears to be widely supported by Danish political forces, with a few exceptions on the left. However, it would not be the first harsh anti-immigration measure introduced in recent years by the center-left government: Denmark, for example, was the first European country to declare the area around Damascus, the capital of Syria, “safe”, with the aim of to facilitate the return of many Syrian refugees to their country.
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The Danish government has not yet said which will be the “third country” that will take over the asylum requests and the subsequent reception of refugees instead of Denmark, although in recent days Rwanda has been mentioned several times, which tradition of welcoming migrants. However, the news has not yet been confirmed by the two governments and there are no certainties about it.