The Parliament of Denmark on Thursday voted 76-24 to pass an immigration bill that will increase restrictions on residence permits and tighten penalties for violating residence rules and obligations.
With the new bill, residence permits will provide fewer assurances to refugees. The bill amends the wording of the Aliens Act so that “residence permits [will be] granted for temporary residence.” These residence permits will also be able to be withdrawn or exempted “unless it is in direct conflict with Denmark’s international obligations.”
To address violations of rules for residence permits, there are several proposals to increase punishments for crimes and breach of entry ban violations. One of these is the possible introduction of “a duty of residence” on Lindholm, an isolated island once used to contain and research infectious diseases in contagious animals.
Denmark has been reluctant in recent years to accept its immigrant quota, citing the need to improve integration for its existing immigrant population. The bill, though, shifts interest and emphasis toward repatriation efforts. The bill also reduces representation of refugee interests by increasing voting and election qualifications, requiring at least four years of residency.
The bill is set to take effect March 1.