The 2021 refugee island plan is part of an agreement between the Danish government and the Danish People’s Party (DPP), a right-wing organisation which is opposed to immigrants.
According to Støjberg, “when you are unwanted in Danish society, you should not be nuisance for regular Danes”.
Russia Today also outlined the island proposal.
According to DPP spokesperson Martin Henriksen, the party wants to make it nearly impossible for refugees to live freely, even while on the island. Part of the plan is to keep immigrants on the island for as long as possible by making the ferry service to the mainland unaffordable.
“We are going to make it as cumbersome and as expensive as possible … We are going to minimise the number of ferry departures as much as at all possible,” said Henriksen.
A New York Times report noted that two ferries were the main means of traveling to and from the island. One of the ferries is named Virus, after the island’s history with sick animals.
Should the plan go ahead, foreigners who do not sign in at the government’s island offices each day face placement on the island.
Denmark’s proposed refugee island project will cost around $115m if it is approved.
Henriksen told CNN that the DPP’s hope was “that people outside Denmark will understand that Denmark is not a very attractive place to seek asylum”.
Mohamad Hamid, a Palestinian immigrant, said the reason he took his family to Denmark was to give his children “a better life”.
“I watch them engage with Danish traditions, believing they are accepted as part of this society,” he said. “It pains me, but they are not.”
Human rights activist Mads Nygaard condemned the proposed move. “It is a type of modern barbarity that I find deeply repulsive,” he said.