As part of the bargaining over the proposed new budget and tax cuts, the Danish People's Party (DF) has ventured that the country's Syrian refugees could soon return to Aleppo rather than seek re-unification with their families in Denmark.
"It is clear that if you are able to soon return to, for example, Aleppo in Syria, that's where family reunification should happen. That's where the asylum seekers should get help rebuilding their houses and making their future. Not by getting family reunification in Denmark," DF leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl said, as quoted by the Danish TV channel TV2.
At present, temporary asylum is commonly granted for a three-year period, after which asylum seekers must reapply to remain in the Nordic country and become eligible to bring their families to Denmark. A change of rules will thus affect a large group of Syrian refugees who arrived in Denmark in 2015.
Denmark's Liberal Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen appeared to be ready to change the rules on family re-unification, as well as on the return of asylum seekers granted temporary residence, to please his parliamentary allies from the DF.
Should the DF's requirement be fully met, up to 4,200 Syrians will be excluded from family reunification provisions, signaling a radical change in Denmark's asylum policy.
By his own admission, Thuselen Dahl wanted the changes to eventually apply to all asylum seekers, including those granted permanent asylum, describing the proposal as a "crowbar to unlock fundamental changes."
Over 405,000 displaced Syrians returned to the Aleppo governorate between January and July 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported. The vast majority of them (or 93 percent) had been displaced internally within the country.