By Ocaya p’Ocure, a social affairs and political commentator

Danish ParliamentThe proposed new Danish immigration policy is to receive zero refugees.  The idea sounds insane, but if Denmark succeeds in making it work, it could be the future of Europe’s immigration policy. In the last few days, the Folketing–Danish Parliament will decide whether to adopt the Social Democratic government’s very radical proposal, which has already incurred the wrath of the UN, Save the Children Fund and Amnesty International. The idea is that in the future, Denmark will let countries in Africa take care of the entire asylum process while Denmark bears the costs.

It is quite sad to hear that Denmark, a senior founder of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has been an international alliance that consists of 30 member states from North America and Europe. Denmark became a member on April 4th, 1949. So, it is concerning to read that the same Denmark is planning to outsource its refugees to African countries, which must be insulting to the Africans. Just look at what the same NATO countries had done in Iraq; they bombed that country into the stone-age under scurrilous pretense of looking for weapon of mass destruction (WMD) in that country. They did not find any.

Later, NATO jumped on Libya, bombed it, murdered its leader, and turned it into a refugee factory. Lest, we forget, the American war, termed the Afghanistan War, began in 2001, triggered by the September 11 attacks and progressed in three phases which will be discussed in another article. In Syria, the war started with an uprising on March 15, 2011, in the southern province of Deraa, which led to the American-led NATO intervention in support of Syrian rebels. They bombed the Shayrat Airbase on 7 April 2017, which was the first time the U.S. deliberately and purposely attacked Syrian government forces. 

It is painful to see NATO countries concealing genocide in African countries by acquiescing to the radical Danish refugee policy. The disturbing thing is that one cannot throw stones at beehives and expect bees not to react or fly away to look for new abodes. This means that Denmark cannot be the very producers of refugees and at the same time rejects her responsibilities of protecting the same refugees its NATO bombings* had produced. 

Minister of Immigration, TesfayeDiscussions have taken place with Tunisia, Egypt, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, among others, but other countries may also be considered. The Minister for Immigration and Integration, Mattias Tesfaye, has visited Rwanda, among other countries where he reportedly signed diplomatic agreements on asylum and political matters. So, if Denmark succeeds in persuading one or more countries to function as asylum centers for a fee, it will mean a total reorganization of the Danish immigration policy and possibly also a violation of the internationally recognized right to asylum**.

In the future, everyone who knocks on the door at Denmark border for asylum will be sent to Africa, where the entire asylum process will take place. It does not matter if you are from Afghanistan or Guatemala. You are sent to Africa where you must sit in an asylum camp and wait for an asylum notice. If you are denied asylum, the host country in Africa is responsible for sending you home even if it is Denmark that pays for it.

This is an extremely radical immigration proposal put forward by a Danish Social Democratic government due to political fear from the Right–wing Conservatives morbid political populism in Denmark. It sounds completely insane at first, but upon reflection, I realize that what the Danes are proposing may very well become the future European refugee standard. Migrant pressure on Europe is the biggest destabilizing factor in the EU with the potential of breaking up the Union. Ever since the refugee crisis of 2015, EU member countries have tried to agree on a new immigration policy but have failed completely because many countries do not want to receive any refugees at all or very few. While other countries are not prepared to take full responsibility.

For several years now, the EU has been discussing solutions that are reminiscent of what the Danes now want to implement. Asylum camps in North Africa where the refugees were to be quickly screened and those who obviously have no grounds for asylum are sent back to their home countries before boarding a boat across the Mediterranean Sea.

As early as 2016, the EU reached an agreement with Turkey, which in principle means outsourcing policy for refugees. The EU has already paid Turkey SEK 60 billion to stop the flow of Syrian refugees and other nationalities gathered in cities like Istanbul with the goal of getting through to Europe. Australia has had an agreement for ten years with the small archipelago of Nauru and Papua and New Guinea, where asylum centers have been set up. A system that over the years has endured strong international criticism, continues to be applied to discourage other refugees from trying to get to Australia.

Dadaab Refugee Camp, KenyaA non-functioning asylum system which is the same as the basic idea of the proposed Danish system. When refugees realize that they are being sent to Africa if they try to enter Denmark, they will seek refuge in other countries in Europe. The downside of this is that if Denmark succeeds in its intentions, other countries in Europe and perhaps the entire EU countries will soon switch to a similar system. The future may well be that the whole of the EU exports asylum reception to countries outside the Union, despite heads of government speaking favorably of the right to asylum. How could that be?

A fundamental problem is that the asylum system is dysfunctional. When the right to asylum was designed after the Second World War, the world looked very different. At that time, the opportunities for a refugee to get from Africa or Asia to the western world were very small. Today, the asylum instrument has been kidnapped by human traffickers who make a lot of money by encouraging and arranging for refugees to migrate to Europe and the United States. The asylum system is also abused because many who seek asylum are economic migrants who have no legitimate grounds for political asylum. However, the application itself allows them to have a foothold in the rich world.

An alarmingly large proportion of those who have their applications rejected do not leave the EU. Instead, they go underground and form a shadowy society to survive where they are unfortunately exploited by unscrupulous entrepreneurs and criminals. Public opinion in many European countries today indicates that they are tired of migrants. Only parties that push the issue of less immigration have a real chance of winning elections.

When the Danish People’s Party pushed for a more restrictive asylum policy 20 years ago, they were considered extreme. Today, the whole of Europe has followed suit. The same thing may very well happen with the Danish Social Democrat’s proposal to relocate asylum camps in Africa. For example, according to the Swedish Migration Agency source, TT, in 2020, Denmark registered 1,527 asylum seekers of whom 600 were granted asylum, a number far less than that of 12,991 asylum seekers received by Sweden, of whom 10,409 were granted asylum and 29,468 more were admitted through the Swedish family re-unification program. So, time will tell what the eventual European immigration policy will be. 

*Note that Russia has also been bombing Syria (Editor).

**On June 3, by a majority of 70 to 24, the Danish Parliament voted to give the government a mandate to establish internment camps outside Europe where asylum-seekers will have to wait while Danish authorities process their applications (Editor).