DANES TO SEIZE VALUABLES TO PAY COST OF REFUGEES
copenhagen, denmark » Danish lawmakers voted Tuesday to let police seize valuables worth more than $ 1,500 from asylum- seekers to help cover their housing and food costs while their cases are being processed.
After more than three hours of debate, the minority Liberal Party government’s bill was adopted in an 81- 27 vote, with the support of the opposition Social Democrats and the anti- immigration Danish People’s Party— Denmark’s two largest parties. One lawmaker abstained, and 70 others were absent.
Amendments were made, including raising the value of items the asylum- seekers can keep from $ 440 to $ 1,500.
That brings it in line with welfare rules for Danes, who must sell assets worth more than $ 1,500 before they can receive social benefits.
Denmark received about 20,000 asylum- seekers last year, one of the highest rates per capita in the EU.
Denmark is not the only country taking such action.
Some German states do take funds from refugees, and Switzerland requires asylum- seekers to hand over cash of more than $ 996.
The bill was part of a raft of measures that included extending from one year to three the period that family members must wait before they can join a refugee in Denmark.