A fuck you to Denmark - the coming shame of Europe

Political junkies who have been following politics in Europe should by now be aware of the Danish rise of the far right and the subsequent shift to a shade of brownish lately.

In the latest news, an 88 year old Pakistani woman, suffering from tuberculosis, is to be deported from Denmark to Pakistan this week. Never mind that the woman has children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Denmark who wants to take care of her, while she has no immediate family in Pakistan anymore. Never mind that she can no longer cook for herself, dress herself, or walk stairs. The woman does not qualify for a residence permit according to the new harsh immigration laws. After all, she came to Denmark only two years ago. So out she goes.

On which I just want to say: Fuck you!
Oh yeah, the links, Danish only:

I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but it is difficult to be in charge of immigration laws. If you have one person whom you let slip, 1,000 people suddenly try. Indian people are forever talking about slipoing into the States illegally, and it make sme ill. Yes, it is reprehensible to deport this woman, but I kind of understand why.

Is there any country in the world whose immigration laws aren’t a complete cluster-fuck? Just one? Cripes. Can’t we finally evolve past the nation-states phase of human culture already and just let people live where they want to live?

Hell, no! Then 88-year-old consumptive grandmothers will take all our jobs!

Well, you are a party pooper. You kind of missed the part where it says that this woman has family who takes care of her - and wants to continue to take care of her. Taking care of your own old mother isn’t bad thing, IMO.

But the real point is that this is nothing new. People of a certain class isn’t very welcome in Denmark anymore.

And while I’m at it, let me correct the OP, the woman was supposed to be deported this week, but is now due for January. Apparently she was too fragile to be moved.

Sorry, I’m with Denmark here. Seems to me the people of a country have every right to pass immigration laws to define who may, and may not, immigrate to their country. I know the 88 year old tubercular senior citizen seems like a tragic case, but if she has no legal right to be in Denmark, then she has no legal right to be in Denmark.

Bricker: * Seems to me the people of a country have every right to pass immigration laws to define who may, and may not, immigrate to their country.*

Bricker, once again you seem to be focusing on process when what’s being discussed here is ethics. Nobody here is saying that Danes don’t have the right to pass immigration laws. They’re just saying that the particular immigration laws that the Danes have chosen to implement are overly restrictive, to the point of being unethical, mean, and possibly downright bigoted.

I don’t know much about Danish immigration policy, but I have a Danish friend who’s a graduate student in the US, married to a Polish woman who lives in Copenhagen. Apparently she is not legally permitted to leave the country (at least, to come to the US) for something like seven years, or she forfeits all the progress she’s made towards Danish citizenship and has to start over. My friend has to spend about 11 months out of the year in the US (9 months in school, 2 months working research jobs in the summer, home for winter break) without seeing his wife at all, even though she could manage the time and money to make an occasional visit if she were allowed to. I think that’s pretty draconian.

And the level of bureaucratic incompetence seems pretty high in that organization, too: seems like every few months he’s cursing Danish immigration out for another bout of confusing red-tape or paperwork screwup.

Well, she has a legal “right” because the law includes an exception for those older than 60 years - to be determined on a case by case basis.

Then since she isn’t likely to be much a public charge, and her family were willing to care for her, I wonder why they couldn’t successfully obtain an exception from her?

I hope her family in Denmark has enough money to send remittances to her if she goes to Pakistan, so at least she may be able to live out her last few years with a modicum of comfort and dignity.

This is the reason why I find the SDMB to be so instructive; you find yourself exposed to all kinds of perspectives that you might otherwise have never even considered. Sure, the 88 year old tubercular senior citizen might seem like a tragic case, but can we really know that for sure? Do we have any real evidence that separating an infirm and sickly octogenarian from her family and deporting her to a country where she has no close relatives is a bad thing, or is this merely an unsupported hypothesis? Do we know for certain that perfect strangers in Pakistan don’t routinely adopt homeless elderly invalids off the street, lavishing them with affection far greater than any bond they might have with their own relatives? How do we know that geriatric health care in Pakistan isn’t vastly superior to that available in Denmark? There are any number of possibilities here. Why should we blithely assume that this is a tragic case? Perhaps this will turn out to be a blessing for which this woman and her family should be forever grateful. Denmark could be on to something here.

Denmark has taken a lot of heat from its Scandinavian neighbours the last few years about these issues. WHenever they’re critizised, we’re told to mind our own business. The only thing is, it’s increasingly becomming our business too.

Let’s look at the new legislation in Denmark for one specific aspect: Danish citizens has married a forreing national and they want to live in Denmark.

[li]Both parties must be at least 24 years old.[/li][li]The Danish person must not have received welfare udring the past year.[/li][li]The couple must have housing of adequate size.[/li][li]The Danish person must be able to support the spouse on his/her own income.[/li][li]The couple must post a guarantee of 53.096 Dkr, roughly $6.000 in case the forreing person must draw some kind of wellfare.[/li][li]The couple must prove that they have a larger connection to denmark, than to another country, e.g. If It’s a Danish woman, 27 years old and a Peruvian Man, 35 years old, and both have lived their whole lives in their respective countries, then the authorities will add up their years and deem that the connection to Peru is stronger than the connection to Denmark.[/li][/ul]

If all prerequisites are fulfilled, the forreign national can get Danish citizenship after 7 years. S/he may be required to take a test in the Danish language and Danish social sciences.

Now, since Denmark, as well as Sweden, are part of the EU, Danish persons in this situation work around this by moving here, to Sweden. Movement is free within the EU, so the Dane moves here and settles with the non EU person. Under Swedish law, the forreigner gets a resident permit (not citizenship) for five years. After two years, the Danish citizen can apply for Swedish citizenship and then legally move to Denmark with the forreign spouse and take up residence.

Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of nationalistic Danish People’s Party and part of the government coalition is on record as saying: “Fuck human rights”.

Another aspect is that this obviously was directed to the “less desireable elements” but hit equally. A debate started about Danes studying in the US, meeting womeone there and then returning home. The minister for Integration, Bertel Haarder: “Everyone knows this isn’t about Americans, but the rules must be the same for every one. Unfortunately. And I do mean unfortunately.”

It doesn’t matter that the Danes elect a parliament that passes these laws and it’s all legal and fine, Bricker. I reserve the right to call racist bullshit when I see it. Even when it’s official policy.

Sixty years ago, Jews had no legal right to be in Germany, but would you conclude that should be the end of the matter?

No, these laws are not of the same character. But the analogy shows we should consider more than the legality of the matter–in debate we should consider matters of ethics and the possibly unfair application of validly-passed laws.

For those here that doesn’t read danish, I thought this might be kind of nice to know.

The first link says that Sardar Begum has stated earlier that she is no longer recieving treatment for her tuberculosis, and as such it was determined that her health condition isn’t enough to warrent her staying in the country.

The second link states that the deportation has been delayed untill january the 15th, because a doctor didn’t find her fit to be send back home.

Her lawyer also says that the law does provide means for exceptions and he hopes this old lady will be one of them.

Please note that I’m not saying Denmark does not deserve a good Fuck you! I have just read the articles and with my experience with newspapers I don’t want to base an oppinion on that.

The law was passed as a mean to prevent forced and proforma marriages, which do happen more frequent in some cultures than other.

I know it also affects legitime marriages, my boss is married to an american, they actually had a lot of trouble proving that they had a larger connection to Denmark than USA (because my boss had visited her a lot and she had children living with her) before the 24 year law was passed, however she where allowed to stay soon after it was passed. The are both over 24 years old.

I know this is being used as an argument, but it doesn’t hold water. During '03 2033 applications were turned down for one reason or another (no strong connection to Denmark, wrong age ASF). Five, five, was turned down because of suspicion of forced marriage.

By all means, let Denmark preserve its precious way of life. It’ll lead to asphyxia soon enough.

More to the point: If Denmark wants to get all rigid about its citizenship requirements for spouses of citizens, whether out of concern for non-consensual marriages or trying to keep the brown folks out, that’s one thing.

But even the most rabidly racist regulatory rigidity (whew! pardon me) doesn’t need to mandate deportation of an 88-year-old invalid whose relatives are perfectly able and willing to support her. It’s not as though she’s going to pick up a Danish boyfriend and start squirting out little brown babies by the dozen.

I’m not 100% sure on this, but I do belive that if she recieves a permit to stay, she’ll also be eligible for the benefits that is provided by our social security system, such as free medical care. Not that I would mind that a bit of my highly taxed money goes to her, I’m just arguing that there is possibly more to it than the fear of her squirting out brown babies :wink:

Well, that’s true, blinx.

There was a small article on the front page of the latest edition of ‘Weekendavisen’ regarding these matters. The article speaks of a new pattern in marriages among immigrants from non-western countries. According to a new study, the majority of immigrants from non-western countries are marrying at the age of 25 as opposed to the age of 20, two years ago. The immigrants were also more likely to choose a partner already living in Denmark instead of bringing a husband/wife to Denmark from their native country.

The 24 rule has probably made it easier for young people to resist a possible forced marriage because of they wouldn’t be allowed to bring their new husband/wife back home. It’s unfortunate that the rule targets a lot of legitimate couples and by the looks of todays political climate in Denmark it seems the rule is here to stay.

I think maybe the Danes are concerned about the TB thing more than anything else. TB, in the UK at least, has hit a 15 year high and reports show that over 50% of those affected are recent (withing 10 years) immigrants to the UK. Indeed, last year the opposition Conservative party called for mandatory TB screening for immigrants arriving in the UK.

I don’t think the family saying they will care for the woman is going to cut any ice. TB is highly infectious and “looking after” the woman at home would just risk the spread of the disease.

According to the British Thoracic Society :

“TB nurses and health visitors play a vital role ensuring that patients with TB take their prescribed drugs, and tracing family and friends who may be at risk of infection”

The BTS has also issued a revised code of practice designed to combat the disease. It suggests:

  • all immigrants and longstay visitors to the UK from Asia, Africa and South America should be screened for TB. In 1998, 56% of reported TB cases were in people not born in the UK

  • the procedure should be performed at the port of entry or by local health authorities

  • screening should consist of a health interview, with testing and treatment where necessary

  • all TB cases must be notified to a designated Communicable Disease Control officer

  • BCG vaccination should be offered to certain higher risk groups