If they don’t like my rules, let them eat cake, says Danish integration minister – The Post

If they don’t like my rules, let them eat cake, says Danish integration minister

Inger Støjberg, the 21st century’s answer to Marie Antoinette, in hot water following contentious celebration

50 shades of grey for refugees and immigrants (photo: Inger Støjberg/Pixabay)
March 15th, 2017 1:46 pm| by Stephen Gadd

The Danish minister for integration, immigration and housing, Inger Støjberg, is no stranger to controversy. However, her latest move seems to have been a little too much to swallow – even for her own Venstre party comrades.

On Tuesday afternoon on her Facebook page, Støjberg put up a picture of herself holding an elaborately decorated cake with the number 50 prominently displayed.

In her post, she explained this was to celebrate the fact that the government has now managed to pass 50 laws tightening up various areas of immigration law.

Not hungry
Not everyone feels like celebrating, though. In a Twitter post responding to a question as to whether he was going to eat a piece, Venstre’s citizenship spokesman, Jan E Jørgensen, indicated he did not share her views by tweeting “I’m on a diet”.

Other commentators seemed to agree with him. Rasmus Hedegaard said “it’s a pretty odd thing to celebrate. Try substituting ‘foreigner’ with ‘equality’, ‘education’, ‘justice’, ‘growth’ … It sounds a bit hollow and smells of pandering to groups of voters who usually belong to other parties.”

Jakob Lindell Ruggaard responded that “something is really wrong when you can get good publicity for yourself by making life difficult for refugees and immigrants”.

A force to be reckoned with
The minister will probably have the last laugh though, as within the first hour, the picture had received more than 5,000 reactions on Facebook and 600 comments. Clearly a case of ‘no publicity is bad publicity’. In December 2016, Støjberg topped Politiken’s list of the most influential commentators on the media landscape in Denmark.

Coincidentally, Støjberg will probably be tucking into some more cake tomorrow as she celebrates her birthday. She’s turning 44.

The 50 measures

The following areas have been tightened up by the government:

1 – integration benefits for newcomers
2 – integration benefits – scope
3 – implementation of the principal of earning rights to child support and support for young refugees
4 – cancellation of the right of refugees to include the length of time spent in their land of origin when calculating a Danish state pension

5 – abolition of obtaining citizenship by declaration for young people born and raised in Denmark
6 – a tightening-up of Danish language requirements
7 – a new and more difficult citizenship test
8 – increased requirements for financial self-sufficiency
9 – a longer quarantine period for criminality
10 – stricter regulation of the contents of doctor’s depositions that might be used as the basis for dispensations, including those given by specialists to those with psychiatric conditions

11 – the possibility of incarcerating asylum seekers in connection with establishing their identity
12 – the suspension of the right to automatically bring a case before the courts (in cases of mass immigration)
13 – restrictions on the duration of residence permits for people under temporary protection in Denmark
14 –  tightening-up of the rules regarding residence permits for people under temporary protection in Denmark because of holidays etc
15 – an increased degree of self-financing for asylum seekers in Denmark
16 – the possibility to search asylum seekers with a view to confiscating assets which can be used to pay for their support
17 – decreasing the financial amount paid to asylum seekers
18 – abolition of the possibility for asylum seekers to be housed in separate and special premises outside the asylum centre
19 – the imposition of an “integrations-potential criterion” when choosing quota refugees
20 – fewer people on daily cash payments for food and increased use of the cafeteria at asylum centres
21 – the rolling back of extraordinary asylum advisories

Deporting denied asylum seekers
22 – a shorter grace period allowed for leaving the country
23 – stricter use of the obligation to register and to stay in centres
24 – increased possibility to incarcerate refused asylum seekers and foreigners illegally in Denmark
25 – electronic entry control systems in emigration centres
26 – abolition of the possibility for families with children who are being deported to be housed in separate and special premises outside the asylum centre

Family reunification
27 – a deferral of the right of family reunification for people under temporary protection
28 – the imposition of fees in the area of family reunification
29 – abolition of state payments for transportation of reunified family members to refugees residing in Denmark
30 – abolition of 2-year period in cases of family reunification with children

Permanent residence
31 – a tightening-up of the requirements on how long a person has to have been in Denmark legally before getting permanent residence
32 – tightening-up of the threshold for barring foreigners who have committed a criminal act from permanent residence
33 – an increased quarantine period for obtaining permanent residence for foreigners who have committed criminal acts
34 – tightening-up of language requirements
35 – tightening-up of employment requirements
36 – imposition of supplementary criteria relevant to integration
37 – requirement for payment of a fee for permanent residence
38 – the abolition of specially lenient permanent residence requirements for refugees

39 – Deportation of criminal foreigners unless it can be established with certainty that it is illegal under Denmark’s international obligations

Promulgators of religion
40 – implementation of a public list of banned extremist clerics
41 – implementation of obligatory courses in Danish family law, freedom and democracy for all promulgators of religion
42 – demand that all promulgators of religion sign a declaration that they will obey Danish law

People without residence but who cannot be deported and criminals awaiting deportation
43 – implementation of reporting obligations
44 – sentencing level raised for violations of rules on residence and registration and equivalent sentences imposed for violations of rules on reporting obligations
45 – sentencing level tightened for violations of rules on residence and registration and equivalent sentences for violations of rules on reporting obligations
46 – release from serving sentence for violating rules on residence and registration and violations of rules on reporting obligations with a view to instant deportation
47 – new form of punishment for serving a sentence in prison or a deportation centre using electronic tagging
48 – quarantine on leave from prison on refusal to agree to electronic tagging
49 – special access to keeping people in custody, including the use of electronic tagging
50 – suspension of benefits on violation (earlier only an option)