Controversial immigration law passed by Icelandic government

Iceland’s government has recently passed a bill on international refugees, voted in favor by all members of the coalition government parties – the Left Greens, the Independence Party, and the Progressive Party.

As covered by The Reykjavik Grapevine, this bill is an amendment to the current Foreign Nationals Act which has caused controversy for further taking away the human rights of refugees seeking protection in Iceland.

With this new bill, it frees Iceland’s government from fulfilling international humanitarian laws, as well as permitting the country’s Directorate of Immigration to provide essential care services to applicants of those seeking protection once 30 days have passed since the rejection of their application.

The bill has seen some pushback from the country’s humanitarian organizations, including the Icelandic Red Cross, Amnesty International, and UNICEF in Iceland.

“There is a message being sent. That people should get out of the country or else risk being forced out on the street, without any assistance nor access to basic service,” explains Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir, Pirate Party MP.