While the Danish government’s reaction to Muslim refugees is somewhat understandable, it fails is several ways.
A law was just passed in Denmark to plunder Muslim refugees who legally come into the country. As NPR reported, the law orders “police to seize cash and other valuables from some asylum seekers as they enter the country.”
While the practice is arguably a human rights violation, it is easy to see why the Danes thought it was the right thing to do. Denmark, like most other European nations, doesn’t simply allow refugees to enter the country. It pays for them.
“As you know, we are a very small country of just 5 million people with a very, very generous welfare system, which makes us one of the most attractive destinations in Europe and we’ve received numbers that we are finding difficult to integrate,” says Marcus Knuth, a Danish Parliament member and spokesman for his government on immigration and integration issues.
He also said they were hoping that Denmark would become a less attractive destination for refugees. Given the expense of refugees as well as the real and potential problems that they bring with them in terms of crime, that motive is easy to understand.
But this will not work.
First of all, the amount of loot they expect to get from immigrants will not remotely cover the money that the governments will spend on them.
Secondly, after people learn about this new law, it will not make Denmark less attractive to all immigrants. It will make Denmark less attractive to immigrants who don’t own any personal property. The “very, very generous welfare system” will continue to attract refugees—only it will be more attractive to the ones who are poorer and more desperate.
Meanwhile, there is a simple and elegant solution that would be much more just: let immigrants keep their stuff but don’t give them access to the welfare system. That way both the potential immigrants and the Danish taxpayers are treated fairly. Neither one is deprived of his possessions.
Furthermore, Denmark will then only attract foreigners who expect to support themselves. It will no longer be attractive to the people who want welfare benefits because there will be no benefits. Only those people who contribute to Danish society will be able to live there.
This won’t eliminate all problems, but it will vastly improve the situation.
Of course, some will insist that Denmark is obligated to grant asylum to immigrants and give them material support for humanitarian reasons. Doesn’t the Bible command us to love our neighbors and doesn’t Jesus commend the example of the Good Samaritan who rescued a wounded man at his own expense?
But how can Denmark and other European countries claim an obligation to shelter refugees while simultaneously looting them? The truth is that no one in Denmark is giving to immigrants. The taxpayers are being taxed. The government bureaucrats are simply doing their jobs using other people’s money. If the Danish people want to be humanitarians, they will personally use their own resources to help others.
The state is not capable of charity. It can only pillage people and spend that money on causes that justify its existence. Denmark is pillaging its citizens to support Muslim refugees and now it wants to pillage the refugees. A modest proposal: stop the pillage.