The deportation of a Thai youngster and her mother has triggered demands for changes to immigration laws in Denmark. Leading figures with Amnesty International and the national branch of the Save the Children Fund say laws need to be changed so that such a travesty of justice never happens again.
A Facebook page set up to protest the deportations of seven-year-old Im Nielsen and mother Suditha on November 10 garnered almost 90,000 likes. The two were ethnic Thais and moved to Denmark following Suditha’s marriage to Danish citizen Johnny Nielsen.
Im’s stepfather died of cancer last year. Despite the fact the youngster had spent half of her life in Denmark and only speaks Danish with any fluency, the national Immigration Service ruled she had insufficient ties to the country and should be deported back to Thailand with her mother.
The Copenhagen Post reported that as they were about to board their flight to Bangkok, Im said she was worried about making a new life in Thailand. She added that she and her mother were being thrown out of Denmark because her father had passed away.
The vehement protests must have struck a chord with parliamentary representatives as they passed a special motion a few days later rescinding the deportation. Mimi Jacobsen, a former MP and current secretary of the local Save the Children Fund, says that politicians should be changing immigration rules and not just responding with a knee-jerk reaction to one case.
Ms Jacobsen said she was frustrated that politicians who had created abominable immigration restrictions should then bend them for one cute youngster who spoke with an accent from Jutland. Amnesty’s Claus Juul echoed Ms Jacobsen and said the immigration bureau had followed the law and it was the law itself that needed changing.