Comment: The 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.
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.