The Recommendations section begins on a sour note with this highly disturbing report coming from Denmark. The Danes will now confiscate the valuable belongings of immigrants, so that they can cover the costs required to accommodate and feed them.
Here’s a news report from CNN:
In their infinite and noble clemency, the Danes will allow the immigrants to keep items of “sentimental value”. Initially, I wanted to say that this is similar with what the Nazis were doing with the Jews. But then I realized that it’s not similar at all. It’s actually identical, except for the fact that it takes place seven decades later. This means that there’s a bit less barbarism, which is probably the least that we could demand from the human race at this point in time.
From such a country, which has been a stalwart of free speech and liberalism, I expected more than sinking to the lowest ethical standards of contemporary civilization. Even though I am able to understand the economical reasoning behind the decision, I’m painfully aware that there were so many other decent ways to solve this.
It looks like Denmark went with a resolution that should appease the far-right, a political cult which is not exactly renowned for its reliable long-term thinking. I wonder how much respect the current immigrants will have towards their adoptive country some years from now. At a time when Europe tries to contain extremist tendencies, the actions of Denmark appear to me like a sort of social suicide.
I find it sad that this is the best answer a European country can come up with. Apparently they will confiscate things like laptops too. To me, this sounds like they’re denying opportunity and reducing the chances for these people to start a new life using the belongings they undoubtedly struggled and risked to bring with them. To me, this sounds like slavery. In the past we went and kidnapped slaves, now we just destabilize their countries and make them cover the expenses and risks to get here; neat huh? The fact that the Danish citizens are sitting rather quietly while this happens raises uncomfortable questions.
Here’s an analysis of the situation:
Ultimately, it’s any country’s right to manage this sort of crisis as it sees fit. I agree that refugees should do their best to cover their costs. But this should only come later, when they’ve been integrated and trained in the ways through which they can contribute to the society they’re part of.
One last thing I’d like to add. I can’t easily understand how the Danish government wants to monetize laptops and other valuable technology taken off the refugees. Will they use pawn shops? Who would like to buy these devices? I think Danes can afford pretty much whatever hardware they wish for. This draconian maneuver reeks of ulterior motives.