Iraqi asylum seekers ‘will be sent home’

iraqi_asylum_seekers_3001.jpgWednesday, KM News .Iraqi asylum seekers ‘will be sent home no matter where they are’ (Photo: Pamela Juhl)
Taking shelter in a church will not have an effect on the government’s decision to expel refugees whose request for asylum has been denied

Immigration Minister Birthe Rønn Hornbech left no doubt yesterday that 60 Iraqi asylum seekers taking refuge in a Copenhagen church would have no influence on the government’s decision to return all 282 rejected Iraqi asylum seekers living in Denmark to their home country.

‘They will be sent home, no matter where they are,’ Hornbech said during consultation with members of parliament on Tuesday. ‘I hope that they head home on their own as soon as they read the writing on the wall.’

The Iraqis currently being granted shelter by Broroson Church in Nørrebro sought protection after a deal was reached with the Iraqi government clearing the way for the return of refugees whose applications for asylum have been rejected. Some have been living in Denmark for up to ten years, and some of the children have lived only in Denmark.
Although some of the Iraqis are Christians, Hornbech has criticised the group for seeking protection in a church, instead of a mosque. During the consultation, however, she rejected criticism of that position.

The asylum seekers refuse to return to Iraq out of fear that their lives would be at risk if they returned home or because they have remained in Denmark so long that they no longer have ties to the country. The opposition called for the creation of residency status to accommodate their situation.

‘I can’t just give 282 people residency because the opposition wants a new immigration policy. That’s rebellious, distasteful, and disgusting.’

Although the Brorson Church parish council is allowing the Iraqis to live in its basement until at least August, should the state issue an order for the Iraqis to return home, the police are permitted to remove them forcibly.

The first Iraqis are expected to be sent home next month.