Denmark calls for tougher immigration controls for Americans

american-passportU.S nationals, in particular those who have a non-Western ethnic background, are the subject of calls for more stringent immigration procedures by Peter Skaarup, the Danish People’s Party Justice Spokesperson.

Pre-travel disclosures and the introduction of visa requirements have been mooted for Americans planning on travelling to Denmark by both the Social Liberal and Danish People’s Party.

”We have had to admit that the Americans have not been as effective in their anti-terrorism efforts as we thought and that the threat against Denmark has grown,” said Skaarup.

Visit Denmark statistics show that close to 500,000 Americans visit the country each year. This number included one man who had recently been arrested in Chicago on charges of conspiracy to execute a terrorist attack against the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

Under existing legislation the Danish Police are able to request passenger lists from airlines but the proposed changes would allow increased cooperation with American authorities; to enable passport control checks to establish if visitors had repeatedly visited countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. US citizens are currently able to travel freely to Denmark. The same privilege requires some 133 other countries to obtain visas prior to arrival.

The Social Liberal Party has surprisingly supported the proposal with Justice Spokeswoman Lone Dybkjaer also voicing concern over recent developments. Dybkjaer said that the Chicago incident had sparked fears that terrorists would increasingly attempt to obtain US passports which would enable easier entry into Europe to carry out attacks.

”There is no doubt that terrorists are currently trying to organise themselves in many different ways. I will not rule out the possibility of having to introduce a stricter monitoring of travellers from the United States. But any decision must rest on a police evaluation – so I will be discussing this with the Security and Intelligence Service,” said Justice Minister Brian Mikkelsen.

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