Denmark’s government proposed to tighten the immigration rules, which could restrict refugee access to medicine and dental care. The bill provides for a 2,000-kroner reduction in benefits payments to refugees who provide for dependents. The bill is scheduled for its second and third parliamentary procedures in February, following a normal process in Denmark for passing legislation.
The Danish government has presented its new vision and the ‘paradigm change’ in asylum policy. According to the new bill, the access of refugees to medical care services could be restrained. The critics have advised against changing a current scheme which enables local authorities to provide subsidies for specific, mainly unforeseen costs incurred by hard-up refugees.
The reaction of the Danish Refugee Council was predictable, the organization believes that a proposal will limit individual refugees’ ability to get help and to be a healthy person. In other words, a 2,000-kroner reduction will not improve the situation nor for refugees, neither for a country.
“This will affect a group which is already economically pressed to its absolute limits,” the Danish Red Cross wrote in a response to the hearing stage of the bill procedure.
The term ‘paradigm shift’ has been used to refer to a change in approach to asylum policy, initially driven by the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, reflecting the view that the status of refugees should always be considered as temporary, and that their status should be revoked as soon as conditions in origin countries are deemed to enable this.