euronews: Automatic deportation for foreign criminals in Denmark

by , under All categories, Enrique

CommentThe new law in Denmark, which passed by a wide majority and will now allow convicted immigrants to be deported after serving their prison sentences, is another example of how this small nation continues to dig itself deeper in a hole of its fears.

Immigrants, and especially Muslims, seem to bring out the worst of Denmark. Even so, the sad truth of the matter is that no matter how many times the Danish People’s Party (DPP) demands yet another tightening of immigration laws with the collaboration of the major parties, their fears and nationalism to keep immigrants and their children in line will never be banished nor fed.

The new tightening of the screws of the law will only bring more conflict, suffering and shame on Denmark, but reveal to future historians how the country lost it to nationalism and xenophobia. 

Taking into account that our anti-immigration party, the Perussuomalaiset (PS), is a member the Europe for Freedom and Democracy group in the European  parliament together with the DPP and other right-wing populist groups like the Lega Nord of Italy and Slovak National Party, it is no surprise that we are already hearing MPs clamoring for Finland to follow the Danish model.

PS MP Reijo Tossavainen, who recently said that Finland should shelve its international agreements and close the border to asylum-seekers, wrote on his Uusi Suomi blog that he only saw benefits to the country if it started deporting sentenced immigrants.

“Benefits can be found,” he writes. “In the first place, our country’s prisons are already so full that such a situation has been used as an argument to lighten (prison) sentences. Moreover, one day in prison costs the Finnish taxpayer more than one day in a middle-priced hotel.”

Tossavainen writes that a convicted immigrants should be deported irrespective if the person has family in Finland.

It is unfortunate for Denmark and for PS MPs like Tossavainen that tougher laws aren’t the panacea for our immigration problems.

In many cases tougher immigration laws only worsen them.

Meanwhile, recent comments in the end of May from the Danish immigration minister, Søren Pind, that foreigners should “assimilate” or leave, coupled with the country’s recent unilateral decision to reinstate border checks, have left some residents questioning the motivation behind the crackdown on Marmite, the yeast extract spread.

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In the future, foreign nationals who are convicted of a crime and sent to prison in Denmark will be automatically deported on their release. The controversial legislation sailed through parliament in Copenhagen by 97 votes to 7.

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  1. Mark McGreevey

    If a foreigner has family in Finland, and he/she risks the stupid act of illegal activity, serious enough to be sent to jail, that foreigner is an idiot. But the bigger the penance, the better the deterrent: wouldn’t you think twice of robbing or raping or burglaring if you would be automatically deported and never allowed into that country again? I would. Perhaps they wouldn’t – the temptation towards crime for some folks is so high, I presume, they don’t care.

    I would say, before we condemn Denmark, better to question whether those other countries, from which these criminals come from, have the same deportation laws. Most probably they do, and they are not being condemned by Enrique or anyone else. Why the double standard? In some Muslim countries, some females wind up breaking laws for doing the most ordinary of activities people do in the West – walk alone on the streets, head uncovered, driving a car, kissing a man in public, etc. etc. Why not start a rant against those irrational and unfair laws, which would be applied to any Finn or Dane who goes there?

    Denmark is a sovereign nation entitled to defend its own citizens against harm from outsiders. I would say a foreign criminal would rightly be unwelcome anywhere, and his “rights” he has himself thrown out the window by disrespecting his host country’s laws. Toodaloo, crooks! Enjoy the lax and happy atmosphere of your native lands! See how they welcome you home, you the happy crook!

  2. Alan Bruce

    Let us not be naive. The Danish law on automatic deportation is only one brick in a new wall of arrogant discrimination which bit by bit is sealing off European states from their past approach of tolerance, openness and welcome. Like the insidious poison it is, this new movement is building a consensus among the aging and angry host populations that the source of their increasing immiseration and discomfort is the foreigner – and not the iniquitous system under which they live. It deflects concerns for the evident crises we face (ecological, demographic, political and economic) from the real causes to that age old solution for all of Europe’s pent up rage and impotent posturing – the scape goat. The nauseating similarity of such mechanisms to those which preceded them in the 1930s should by now be obvious. For every time you read (or in the case of some of you, utter) statements of stereotypical portrayal of Muslims, just substitute the word Jew. It won’t take long to figure out where this filth emerges from.

    The problem with inequality and poverty and discrimination is that majority host populations are led (through monopolistic media, supine public policymakers and ever-harsher laws) to blame the oppressed for their own oppression. To blame the victim for the crime. Deportation is the age-old interim “solution” (I better not whisper final…) that seeks to dismiss not just people but justice, reason and balance. The British even did it to their own criminals (but we have Australia now to thank for that piece of foresight).

    Deportation solves nothing except assuaging the angry grumblings of those whose only contact with immigration is dropping tips to those who wash their cars, mow their lawns and clean their hospitals and so, so much more. It is the whiff of grapeshot designed to intimidate and scare people already on the edge.

    But still they come. They come by car, by train, by plane, by boat. They even swim for Pete’s sake. They stand crowded in the pens of Lampedusa and Lanzerote. They try desperately to reach that Europe of dreams and possibilities that so many of us no longer even believe in. Maybe they see something we have lost. Maybe they actually believe in the European dream while we are mired in cynical complacency.

    Deportation. Calm, clinical, remote, anonymous. Deportation. To what? The Land of Faraway? The hangman’s noose? The endless cycle of poverty? Who cares? Deportation. Think long and hard what it means and where it was used before, from Krakow to Lvov.

    And which of you will cast the first stone?

    • Enrique

      –But still they come. They come by car, by train, by plane, by boat. They even swim for Pete’s sake. They stand crowded in the pens of Lampedusa and Lanzerote. They try desperately to reach that Europe of dreams and possibilities that so many of us no longer even believe in. Maybe they see something we have lost.

      Very powerful words and a very good question: Is the reaction of some to those that come from afar an indication of our loss of important social values devoured by spoiled greed?

  3. JusticeDemon

    The last time I checked, Denmark was still a party to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This means that essentially the Danish Parliament has just voted to pay substantial compensation to anyone whose expulsion infringes these instruments (especially Articles 3 and 8 of ECHR).

    The UK Parliament did something similar a few months ago in relation to disenfranchised prisoners, and the government has been trying to find some solution to a problem that could otherwise cost around EUR 150 million in compensation payments for each election.

    In practice the Danish government will not defy the European Court of Human Rights, nor will it disengage from the instruments concerned.

    Greece famously resigned from the Council of Europe in 1969 in order to avoid the public humiliation of suspension from the organisation for human rights violations, but the country was ruled by a military junta at the time. It is not at all clear how the Danes could emulate the Greeks of 40 years ago. There is also the problem that a very large body of European Community law is based on the assumption that all Member States are bound to apply the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Writing these guarantees into a separate Denmark protocol for each Regulation and Directive would be no minor undertaking, even if a formulation could be found that allowed this particular tail-wags-dog objective.

    There is also the obvious point that if the deportee is a European Union citizen, then automatic expulsion will automatically infringe the freedom of movement provisions of Community law. These are non-negotiable Treaty Freedoms: there is no special protocol option.

    So essentially any foreigner who is banged up in Denmark should promptly instruct counsel to seek an injunction from ECtHR and to claim damages when this injunction is ignored. It’s just money in the bank. If the Danes don’t like it, then they have the option of leaving the Council of Europe and the European Union. Then they can try to trade on such terms as the rest of the world dictates to small economies.

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