Asylum seekers in Denmark are being shipped to ‘Virus Island,’ a small stony inlet in the Baltic Sea, the right-wing Danish People’s Party said this weekend.
“They are unwanted in Denmark, and they will feel that,” said Immigration Minister Inger Stojberg.
At least 100 criminally convicted foreigners and rejected asylum seekers will be transported to ‘Lindholm’ island by a pair of ferries. The 17- acre isle is almost completely deserted with a few stables, some laboratories, and a crematorium center used to study contagious animal diseases.
State officials say they plan to make the process as difficult and expensive as possible in an effort to deter the incoming stream of asylum seekers.
Stojberg said, "If you are unwanted in Danish society, you should not be a nuisance to ordinary Danes."
Those that cannot be deported will be transferred to the island to live on a daily stipend of around US$1.20 which can be revoked if they fail to cooperate with authorities. The isle is not a prison, however, those transferred will have to sleep there and residents will be required to check in with island officials or be imprisoned, Finance Minister Kristian Jensen said.
People Party spokesman Martin Henriksen said, “We’re going to minimize the number of ferry departures as much as at all possible. We’re going to make it as cumbersome and expensive as possible.”
Like most of Europe, Denmark is shouldering an influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, but the government plans to push immigration law to the limit without violating international human rights convention.
However, the xenophobic proposal has received some pushback from various human rights organizations and politicians. Former Immigration Minister Birthe Ronn Hornbech said the initiative was ‘a joke,’ saying nothing would come of the 'un-Danish' proposal.
Prime Ministerial Candidate Uffe Elbæk said, "Inhuman politics are creating a completely different Denmark to the Denmark I love."
While the Danish Institute for Human Rights is taking no chances and will monitor the situation closely to ensure no international obligations are violated, deputy executive director, Louise Holck, said.