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Denmark Immigration And Integration Essay

2360 words - 10 pages

Immigration to Denmark mostly consisted of people from Northern and Western Europe until the 1960’s and 1970’s when Pakistani, Turkish, and Slavic migrants sought out the demand for unskilled labor (“Immigration”). In 1973, Denmark’s government created strict immigration laws, which made it rather difficult for immigrants to enter into the country. However, even though the government had shut down the open immigration, they still allowed the entering of refugees into Denmark (“Denmark Shifts”). The second wave of migration occurred in the 1980’s and 1990’s when refugees came over from the Middle East to obtain asylum (“Immigration”). While a large number of immigrant families have lived in Denmark for many years, most Danes have not accepted them as a part of their society. Denmark is severely lacking in their understanding and acceptance of immigrants and their strict immigration laws and process of obtaining citizenship makes it nearly impossible for immigrants to find new lives in Denmark.

Denmark has some of the harshest immigration policies in Europe. In reference to immigration laws, Jacob Mchangama, director of legal affairs for Cepos, The Danish Centre for Political Studies, had told Politiken, “Sure it’s a form of discrimination, but according to international law, states have the right to choose who is allowed to come in.” There are immigration laws so mixed up and edited over the years that not even lawyers can begin to comprehend the meanings of their contents. According to Jens Vedsted-Hansen, “Decisions on asylum, family reunification and EU residence are often right on the edge of Denmark’s international obligations and in some cases probably incompatible with international laws.” The long list of amendments to immigration laws, while it is good for the government to do since it shows that they are adjusting throughout the years, makes for a rather confusing time trying to comprehend the entirety of the laws. However, even though lawyers believe the immigration laws need a complete rewrite, Denmark’s justice minister, Morten Bødskov, stated, “The government does not intend to rewrite the immigration laws. I believe that the laws are clear, especially if one has a legal background.”

When the laws are not fully understood is when case decisions are wrongfully made, which sometimes results in an uproar of the public like in the case of Im Nielsen. Im, a seven-year-old girl whose step-father, a native Dane, had died of cancer and Im’s mother, Suthida Nielsen, according to the law and to the immigration appeals council, were required to leave the country on the grounds of the two of them having no acceptable reason to remain in Denmark (PS). Although Im and Suthida both had to return to their home country of Thailand, the uproar has caused many groups dealing with children’s right to analyze and see just how unfair Denmark’s immigration laws are toward children of immigrants, whether they were born in the country or brought to the...

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