Fewer young children have had their family reunification applications turned down since the government relaxed an immigration law last June.
Concerns were raised that children under the age of 12 were routinely denied family reunification because the Immigration Service had wrongly assessed them as being unable to integrate. In 2010, 96 under-12s had their applications denied for this reason.
But in a reply to an inquiry from far-left party Enhedslisten (EL), the Justice Ministry reported that only six under-12s have had their applications turned down in a little under a year.
“I am really pleased,” EL spokesperson Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen told Metroxpress. “It shows that the law is working. The goal was to ensure that more children would be allowed to live in Denmark with their parents.”
The law arrived after several high profile cases in the media such as eight-year-old Ripa, who faced deportation to Bangladesh even though her father lived in Denmark and had custody.
The new law, which put less emphasis on a child's ability to successfully integrate, has led to a dramatic drop in the number of children who have been denied residency based on the Immigration Service’s assessment.
A total of 130 applicants have had their residency applications turned down since the law was introduced last June, compared to 430 in 2010.
The integration spokesperson for Dansk Folkeparti, Martin Henriksen, argued that the trend was bad for Denmark.
“I am afraid that it means that more children will be coming to Denmark who won’t be able to integrate,” Henriksen told Metroxpress. “Some children will now be sent to their homelands to be taught at Koran schools and get brought up with the opposite of Danish values.”