Rights groups laud immigration changes

Move to ease regulations met with praise, but some immigration advocates say further relaxation is necessary

Human rights groups have come out in support of proposed changes to immigration laws that would ease permanent residency regulations and do away with point systems for residency.

The increasingly strict immigration laws passed by the previous government had drawn criticism from rights groups, but rights groups said the proposal put forth Thursday by the justice minister, Morden Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), was a step in the right direction.

“The proposal generally enhances the protection of human rights,” Jonas Christoffersen, the director of human rights organisation Institut for Menneskerettigheder, told Information newspaper. “So of course it is positive that some of our earlier recommendations are now being adopted.”

Andreas Kramm, secretary general for refugee aid organisation Dansk Flygtningehjælp also had praise for the suggested law change, but said further changes were needed.

“The seemingly endless stiffing of the rules is now to be replaced by a positive proposal that eases the immigration prerequisite,” Kramm told Information. “But trees don’t grow all the way up to heaven. The Danish immigration law will still be very strict, even with the changes.”

The new immigration laws are scheduled to be approved and implemented on May 15 for family reunification cases and on June 1 for cases involving permanent residence.