In the future, foreign nationals who are convicted of a crime and sent to prison in Denmark will be automatically deported on their release. The controversial legislation sailed through parliament in Copenhagen by 97 votes to 7.
Ministers admit the governing centre-right ooalition wants to send a clear signal.
“The only people who will be sent out of the country will be those who have been given a jail sentence. In this country, it is quite a big deal to be sent to jail, and secondly, if international human rights apply then there must also be standards for reciprocity,” said Immigration Minister Soren Pind.
Denmark’s Red-Green alliance was one of the few dissenting voices.
One woman unhappy with the decision said:
“Denmark risks being found guilty of violating human rights and the political majority in Denmark is aware of that. They have adopted this law with their eyes open – Denmark is likely to be convicted of violating human rights. I think it is grotesque.”
The legislation has also been criticised by human rights organisations. They have warned Denmark that it risks losing cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.