Haderslev, Skive and Brønderslev have all written to Udlændingestyrelsen (Immigration Service) informing them that they would like to avoid having more Chechens come to their municipalities, reports Berlingske.
Haderslev writes they cannot “accommodate” more Chechens and Frederikshavn has expressed difficult experiences with the group. Skive also writes they have had a “bad experience” with integrating Chechens and that many have moved away due to the difficulty.
Meanwhile, the municipality of Sønderborg has written they would like no more Roma refugees from former Yugoslavia.
Though it is against the Immigration Act to differentiate among those in need, preferences are sent to Immigration Service based on the success places have had with integration, for example with language teaching and interpreting.
However, some integration staff at the municipal level use this as an opportunity to compile a list of groups they would like to avoid.
Discrimination or optimization?
The mayors of all four municipalities have stated that discrimination is not taking place in their areas, but are trying to “optimize the integration process for both the municipality and the refugee”.
However, Bjørn Dilou Jacobsen, an immigration lawyer, warns that municipalities are going too far and cannot use the argument that “some [groups] are difficult to integrate.”
Andreas Kramm, secretary general of Danish Refugee Council, sees the municipalities as wanting to solve the problem in the best possible way and does not think there is a “negative sorting mechanism”.
Anders Ladekarl, secretary general of the Danish Red Cross, also sees this is as a “sign that municipalities specialize” saying that there is a “big difference in integrating people form Congo, Chechnya or Syria”.
“If there are particularly difficult groups, it’s the wish of the municipalities to establish a way for Immigration Service to be made aware of it,” he said. “As long as there’s space somewhere in the country, it is not discrimination. And so far it seems that this is the case.”