Criminal immigrants pose a major problem in Denmark, Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen admitted, after the newspaper BT took a deep look into crime rates and provided insights.
In a major review of immigrant crime, BT reviewed verdicts for crimes involving murder and attempted murder as well as violent crime and robbery.
Between January 2014 and November 2018, Somalis topped Danish crime statistics with 1,111 convictions, followed by Iraqis and Turks.
According to BT, it is 3.6 times more common for a Somali to be sentenced for violent crime than for a Danish man of the same age with the same income.
Danish politicians didn't attempt to sugar-coat the problem.
“Your review clearly shows that there is a big problem with criminal migrants whom we shouldn't have in our society”, Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen of the Conservative Party told BT. According to him, this is why the government has been implementing legislative changes to facilitate the expulsion of criminal migrants.
Danish People's Party legal rapporteur and newly elected MEP Peter Kofod, was also upset, calling the statistics “insane”.
“These are pretty wild numbers, those that BT has uncovered. They support what we, the Danish People's Party, have been pointing out for years, that we in Denmark have a challenge with immigration from a number of countries in Africa and the Middle East,” Kofod said.
Kofod didn't miss the opportunity to promote his right-wing party's immigration agenda.
“It's tragic, and we have to respond to that. We must do this by sending people back home and not taking new ones in. It must be the lesson after too many years when Denmark and the rest of Western Europe have had too much of immigration from certain areas,” Kofod added.
The Danish Social Liberal Party also believes that foreign felons must leave Denmark. Their legal rapporteur Lotte Rod called it “terrible” that such crimes are committed in Denmark.
“The problem, however, is that there are countries, to which we cannot deport people. This applies, for instance, to Somalia and Syria,” Rod stressed.
As of 2019, close to 800,000 of Denmark's population of 5.8 million (over 13 percent) were immigrants and their descendants. Of them, 500,000 were non-Western immigrants, Statistics Denmark reported.
In recent years, both the centre-right government parties and even some of the opposition parties, such as the Social Democrats, have significantly toughened their immigration rhetoric, with the Danish People's Party going so far as proposing a temporary full asylum stop.