The Danish government has once again tightened integration laws and will stop benefits to parents who refuse to send their children to language classes.
Three-year-olds from immigrant families who do not attend preschool are required to take a language test. Children who are found to not have what the government calls the ‘age-appropriate’ level of Danish are required to attend preschool and receive additional language training.
Right and left agree
Some parents either neglect or refuse to send the children to classes.
But starting this summer, the government has legislation in place stipulating that if a municipality determines a child from a ‘bilingual family’ needs better language skills and the parents are not sending the child to preschool, then the family and child benefits will be withheld.
The law has received cross-party support, with politicians from parties on the right and the left saying that children need to learn Danish to be able to integrate into society.
Denmark already has some of the toughest immigration requirements in Europe. State benefits have been cut in half for new immigrants who are expected to learn Danish at ‘an acceptable level’ before they can claim higher levels of support.
The government has also made it significantly harder for migrants to obtain citizenship.