A United and Solidarity Future
A progressive asylum, refugee, immigration policy
By the Workers’ Communist Party, Denmark
Arbejderpartiet Kommunisterne - APK
Refugee and Asylum Policy
Refugees can only be supported in their own land or close to it if the imperialist wars and destabilisation are stopped. Peace, reconstruction, jobs and development are the only things that can end the flood of millions refugees and put an end to this human tragedy.
The European Union’s (EU) exterior borders are studded with barbed wire, walls, mines and electronic surveillance. The Mediterranean is transformed into the world’s most dangerous border crossing, into a massive grave for asylum seekers and refugees from war.
EU spends billions of Euros to militarize Fort Europe, creating the Frontex border control, and the special Triton Mediterranean program complete with war ships, military aircraft and troops – all aimed against so-called “illegal immigrants”.
Fear of foreigners and racism are promulgated to make us believe that refugees and immigrants from the poor, war torn, and not the least Muslim countries constitute a threat against society. Danish politicians encourage and are in the forefront of a misanthropic asylum and refugee policy.
The United Nations estimates that there are about 50 million refugees from war, persecution and ethnic cleansing in the world. 95% of the poorest refugees live in the poorest areas of the world.
The Danish state makes its large contribution to new war zones, and thus creates new streams of refugees through its permanent participation in US imperialism, in EU and NATO’s terror wars. These wars, the destruction and plundering of countries’ resources drive millions to flee their homes either to internal exile or to neighbouring lands. Huge groups of people have little or no food and water just to survive. A small percentage of refugees flee farther to EU countries.
Capitalism—its multinational monopoly consortiums, and the global oligarchy finance control and ruthless exploitation—prevent these countries independent construction and economic development. Wars destruction sets these countries decades backward. These are some of the real reasons why people flee and seek existence in other lands. Welfare tourism is a cynical notion that some politicians, who travel first class on taxpayers money, have invented.
Denmark has long been one of those European countries that have taken fewest refugees, and so it continues to be, taking the nation’s resources into account. Politicians pull out the “refugee-immigrant card”, in order to split the growing resistance to their massive cutbacks, decreasing labour market and war policies, as well as to press through lower wages and asocial reforms. Yet many democratic-oriented people are turning against these asocial and inhumane policies in increasing degrees.
It is decisive to develop solidarity and unity amongst the workers class and the population across ethnic background, nationality, gender, age, skin colour and religion, in order to stop the current asocial polices and to change them. Everyone must have the same opportunities, and we need everyone in the common struggle for a better Denmark and a better world in which to live.
Legal rights for asylum seekers
Denmark has become known for repeated breaches of human rights, including children’s rights, when it comes to treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. A series of cynical expulsions has corroborated that judgment.
The Tamil scandal, where crusial facts was where turn into shameful lies, is not just history. The new Eritrea report is the same sort of politically arranged swindle. Unfortunately this is not a single case. Systematic and cynical breaches of the law with human catastrophies and sufferings to follow, is an on-going practice under interchanging blue and “red” coalition governments.
We speak of abuse of power, improper case work, hiding important information from appropriate civil servants, ministries and leaderships. The rule of law is substituted with second-guessing administrative decisions over human beings lives in such a language they can’t understand. Instead of clear law practice ministries circulate implications about how laws must be interpreted narrowly.
It must be possible to test rulings before civilian courts. Responsible politicians and civil servants must be made to stand responsible for violations of law and human rights conventions, including on children’s rights.
The so-called black-out law, that is, the new 2014 public law places politicians and civil servants outside democratic, public control. This makes it all the more difficult for the population to acquire access to documents about how people are treated in this land.
Public Law 2014 must be abolished.
Equal rights for rich and poor regarding family reunion, permanent residency, and citizenship.
Eliminate rules that prohibit receiving social-economic support from the government three years previous to applying for residency, as well as requiring cash security to obtain residency.
Eliminate rules requiring one to be 24 years of age before marrying a foreigner from another land.
Abolish as well as the ”affiliation requirements”, which states that both persons must be 24 years old before marriage; their connection to Denmark must be greater than that to another country, otherwise the Danish-connected partner must have been a citizen for 26 years; the marriage must not be arranged.
“affiliation requirement” (Tilknytningskravet) is used discriminatorily especially against persons from poor countries.
Living conditions for refugees and asylum seekers
Asylum seekers and those rejected spend many years in uncertainty.
They must not be forced into isolation and stowed away in camps. The must be able to move out to normal society and become a part of it. It must be possible to live with the many Danish host families, who offer an open door to them.
Asylum seekers must have the right and possibility to work and gain an education, in order to obtain a job. Everyone must have the right to acquire the opportunity to take care of ones self, to use his/her resources and abilities.
They must not be used as cheap labour or as a substitute to collective bargained regular jobs. No one shall work as forced labour in the so-called “utility jobs” [nyttejob] where workers rights are suspended, regardless of one’s ethnic roots.
No to further cuts in the social benefits for refugees and asylum seekers. It should not be brought back to the level of “start help” (starthælpen) as suggested.
The state and municipalities must assure refugees and asylum seekers’ right and possibility for relevant and qualified education in the Danish language, in order that they can quickly learn the language. Such instructions must not be contracted out to private firms as hidden savings and business.
Refugees and asylum seekers are often traumatized from experiences of war, persecution, torture and confinement in camps. They should be assured the necessary help and treatment in this connection.
Children and youth
The youngest children must have the possibility to go to a care centre outside the asylum centre.
All children – of both asylum seekers, those refused and refugees – must have the right to attend a Danish elementary school with the necessary language and additional support. Elementary schools must assure the resources to accomplish this. Children and youth must not be isolated from the Danish society.
Humanitarian residency must not be removed from children who grow up here.
Unaccompanied children who have been refused residency must not be additionally punished by granting temporary residency until they are 18 years old and then deported. They must be granted permanent residency. This shall occur by special and rapid casework for these stateless children and youth.
The illegal rejections and deportations must cease. United Nation conventions must be adhered to.
Quota refugees and special refugees from war
The state annually picks out 500 persons for residency in Denmark from refugees camps around the world. This selection is not based on need for help or protection but according to a demand on “integration potential”. Quota refugee use value is calculated by the best imperialist colonial power measures.
The demand about integration potential should be eliminated.
Currently most refugees come from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq and Afghanistan, and some stateless. Many refugees from wars get one-year temporary protection status instead of asylum. Children without parents here are especially hit by the denial to seek family reunion whilst under temporary status.
No to Fortress Europe
Tens of thousands of people have drowned in the Mediterranean due to overloaded capsized boats, or killed otherwise in their attempt to find asylum within the European Union.
EU confronts them with brutal power, in order to prevent them from coming inside Fort Europe. The expensive border operations are aimed at stopping them not in helping people in need.
No to Fortress Europe.
Away with Frontex and Triton. Help asylum seekers in need!
No person is illegal
However, EU is not a rescue harbour if one is lucky to come in with or without papers. Still more are forced to attempt to survive without official papers. They are called illegal, but no one is illegal. Everyone has a right to an existence.
12 million immigrants and refugees without papers live and work in EU. They are abused at the bottom of the labour market and are totally without legal rights.
EU’s directive concerning expulsion criminalizes those without papers. They can be arrested, jailed and deported.
Stop criminalising, jailing and deporting those without papers. No to EU’s expulsion directive.
Defend asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants’ rights.
An independent Danish and solidarity asylum policy
As an active and cooperative participant in bombardments alongside the other allies in the imperialistic war coalitions, Denmark is directly co-responsible for these illegal wars, which go against international law.
This is war criminality. Denmark and the other criminals must pay war compensations to the people and for reconstruction.
Denmark should take on its humanitarian responsibility regarding the acute refugee waves. Membership in EU is not a premise for that responsibility. On the contrary, withdrawal from EU is a premise for an independent Danish and solidarity asylum policy.
Maintain juristic exception within EU! Vote no in coming public election on the juristic exception
Denmark out of EU!
Immigration and integration policy
The Danish working class is comprised not only of ”ethnic Danes” but also of people from various nationalities and ethnic backgrounds, different languages, worker organizations, and traditions.
Capitalism has never been able to solve unemployment and assure work for everyone in all the time that capitalism has existed. It is not immigrants and refugees who steal work from us. It is the employers who always speculate in bringing in cheap labour, in order to press wages down. The state has even systematised this by creating the forced labour marked where the unemployed and people on social benefits are forces work, in order to receive public assistance.
The immigrants and foreign workers bring however on international vision, new experiences and inspiration into the working class. Mutual solidarity and unity in the struggle for the working class’ rights and conditions must be assured in the work places and in the Trade Unions.
Unity must be forged from the grass roots upwards between workers, the unemployed and the outcast regardless of nationality or ethnic background. Problems such as wage dumping, working hours and collective bargaining agreements must be resolved in a common class struggle.
The right to work
The majority of people with ethnic backgrounds other than Danish, who live and work here, have been imported to take jobs, or they are the following generations, such as Turkish immigrant workers from the 1970s or today’s Eastern Europeans workers. Workers have always had to move to where there is work.
It is obvious that to be able to work and support one self is the best premise for an equal integration into society and into the working class. This is what immigrant workers want and the vast majority of immigrants support themselves and their families.
Several hundred thousand unskilled jobs and at least one-third of all industrial jobs have disappeared since 2000 in Denmark. They are either shut down or exported. That has caused massive unemployment, and a large part of people regardless of background has been ostracized from the labour market. In the same period, education levels and other employer demands have risen significantly.
EU’s joint labour market pressures workers rights and union organizing to the bottom. That has had serious consequences. With its inner market employers can bring in even cheaper work force like temporary contract workers, such as at large installations like Copenhagen’s metro. They have neither collective bargaining wages nor pensions, no assurance of working hours, and they are packed together in barracks and warehouse buildings. Furthermore, they can be legally sent home once they are used up. They are currently being used to substitute skilled and specialized labour.
The rising polarization and oblique class division in the population is clearly seen amongst immigrants, who are subject to particular discrimination. That is an essential reason that immigrants have fallen into unemployment and are amongst the outcasts more so than the rest of the population.
Discriminating social policies
Immigrants have especially been squeezed by the new liberal social policies and numerous EU-dictated reforms. Demands, obligations, control and roughly estimated decision-making are substituting our earlier won social rights.
Many public measures, such as those assuring relevant education and language instructions, have been substituted by private and fund-financed projects of short duration.
A particular pariah group, subject to hate in contemporary society, is the outcasts who must live on social welfare. This is especially the case of immigrant women from countries outside the West.
Many ostracized families have been placed for years in hopeless “activating” projects and dysfunctional education offers. Now a particular part of under-Denmark shall be used as a buffer in spreading the so-called “useful or utility jobs”, where one works without a wage. They shall substitute that part of work force with the least education. Twenty five thousand immigrants on welfare must take “utility jobs” by 2017 or lose welfare. This is tax-financed wage dumping.
United struggle against the crises-cut back policy in the defence of workers and social rights!
Sanctions and zero tolerance policy for private and public employers who discriminate against immigrants in wages and employment!
Social rights for all, and relevant social offers for those who need support!
Stigmatizing housing policy
Housing policies of interchanging governments has resulted in large concentrations of immigrants in social ghettos around the largest cities. The privatisation and the sale of non-profit rented housing to private ownership apartments in the cities has created an acute and ever-growing housing shortage for everyone without large incomes.
Thousands of people without many economic and social resources are stuffed together in such ghettos. They must create their own community, integration and security. Cut backs in day-care institutions, elementary schools and free period possibilities, together with lack of jobs and educational opportunities, has caused growing disintegration and rootlessness among youth regardless of ethnicity in such housing areas.
Ghettoizing causes insecurity among inhabitants. Police and other authorities’ answers have been more power and violence, which increases conflicts.
Stop establishing social housing ghettos. Solution to ghettoizing is not to throw families and ill at ease youth out, rather to change housing areas to meet peoples’ needs.
Assure inexpensive public housing! Assure adequate and sufficient day-care centres, elementary schools and free time support for children and youth!
Young immigrants and immigrant offspring under massive pressure
The neo liberal 'competition society' pressure on children and youth today is enormous in all aspects of their lives. An increasing group of youth is pushed entirely out of jobs and educational opportunities.
Youth with another ethnic background are especially subject to greater stress. Authorities demand that they finish the higher education all the quicker while still treated as “dum perker” with discrimination and racism. They are squeezed by the demands of fitting in two cultures and feel split by different demands and traditions.
The youth, whether immigrant offspring, young immigrants or refugees experience discrimination as they are met with prejudice and not seen as independent persons. They are always pressured to defend themselves against surroundings of suspicion and lack of respect.
Stop radicalizing policies of hate--Stop fascism
As immigrants began to get the same work and social rights as the rest of the working class, and then especially after 2008 when crises policies hit hard, smear campaigns against foreigner seriously became the majority current in Danish parliamentary politics. Racism got a free pass.
With Denmark’s participation in the terror wars, Arabs and Muslims were singled out as a particular group of scapegoats.
New liberalism’s cynical imperialist view of human nature plays on fear and racism. When that is mixed with feudal religious fanaticism, a dangerous poisonous cocktail is the result. Both reactionary forces in the ethnic Danish society and among certain immigrant groupings are interested in blowing up reciprocal prejudice and inflaming hate, in order to assure their own respective political-economic-religious power.
Slogans such as “Stop Nazi-Islamism” and the like are designed to point out one group for hate, while hiding the fact that right-wing forces in all of Europe, including here, allow Nazi and fascistic groups to widely spread their propaganda as they plan for terror actions such as Breivik’s in Norway.
There is an ongoing ideological struggle especially embracing boys and young men, who are outcast and cannot see a future for themselves. They are targets forever increasing ostracism, power plays and control from state and other authorities, and at the same by massive propaganda against the West, Denmark included, by fundamentalist Islamists.
The seminal efforts required to solve this problem is to assure jobs, education, and housing so all youth regardless of background can develop a secure future.
Integration in the Danish society must occur with a democratic, solidarity and worthy foundation. Everyone—regardless of ethnicity, race, gender or age—shall be assured the same basic rights and opportunities to able to work, educate oneself, to live and be an equal part of the Danish society.
Forbid Nazi, fascistic and racist organizations, public statements, declarations and propaganda. Maintain the law against racist public pronouncements.
Stop institutional discrimination and racism!
The class divided Danishness
The class in power fancy speaking about the great common national Danishness, in which Christianity and royalty incorporate our common culture and values.
Nevertheless, Denmark is made of different people and classes. There is a deep and popular democratic, non-religious basis culture with rich roots and traditions here where respect for humanity and decency play a role. We have working class secular culture and roots built upon fellowship, solidarity and internationalism where work and responsibility for one another and our common future are fundamental values.
We have people with various religious convictions. We have atheists as well. Religion is and should be a private matter, and everyone must meet and act in fellowship on the same non-religious basis in which no one belief is placed above another.
Integration is not about forcing others to live a certain way. It is not about them and us. It is that we shall assure that everyone is able to create (given capabilities) an existence and future as part of the Danish society.
Workers of all lands unite!
This platform was worked out in the first half of 2015 in connection with APK’s 6th congress and confirmed at the congress, held May 22-24, 2015.
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Published by The Workers' Communist Party of Denmark APK
Netavisen 9. juni 2015