Denmark's Tough New Law: Refugees Must Hand Over Valuables to Cover Costs
Denmark has passed a new law that aims to cut down on the number of refugees who seek asylum there from the Middle East and North Africa.
The United Nations has condemned the measure, which will force asylum-seekers to hand over cash and valuables in order to cover the costs of their stay.
The "jewelry bill" is the latest attempt by Denmark's minority center-right government to curb immigration to a country that took in a record 20,000 refugees last year.
Under the bill, refugees could keep possessions amounting to 10,000 Danish crowns ($1,450), raised from 3,000 crowns after criticism from human rights organizations. Valuables of special emotional value such as wedding rings will be exempt.
The Liberals Party government has just 34 out of 179 seats in parliament and depends on support of rightist parties, including the anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DF), to pass laws.
During a three and a half hour debate, dissenting voices from small leftwing parties were heard including from Red Green Alliance.
But the bill passed with an overwhelming majority, backed by the main center-left opposition party Social Democrats, highlighting a shift to the right in Denmark's political landscape thanks to DF's popularity and rising concern over refugee numbers.
"I wouldn't say that I have become racist or anything," said Poul Madsen, a taxi driver, before the bill was passed. "But I may be more aware of the fact that this has some downsides and may be a potential problem for our society and our economy."
Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. assessed the idea this morning on Fox and Friends, saying it reminds him of confiscation by the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s.
Watch his analysis above and let us know your thoughts.