At least 1,960 rejected asylum seekers in Denmark have gone underground, new figures from that country’s Immigration and Integration Ministry have revealed.
According to local media, the fake asylum seekers were supposed to be deported to their home countries but have disappeared and the Danish authorities do not know their whereabouts.
This fact has come to light after the Swedish police announced that the invader responsible for the terror attack in Stockholm was also a rejected asylum seeker, who went missing on February 27.
According to the Swedish police, there are about 12,000 rejected asylum seekers in the country who have “gone underground.”
In a rare show of unity, the Danish Peoples’ Party (Dansk Folkeparti) and the Social Democrats have both called for a thorough review of the Danish deportation system.
“I think it is a very high figure, as it appears there are nearly 2,000 people [in Denmark] we don’t know where they are,” a DF spokesperson, Peter Skaarup, was quoted as saying. “It creates a sense of insecurity in the Danish population.”
According to the Immigration and Integration Ministry, the authorities close a case of a missing rejected asylum seeker either if they are found again or if they are not apprehended within 18 months, when they are believed to have left the country in accordance with the official orders.
In Denmark, there are two deportation centers—Sjælsmark in central Jutland and Kærshovedgård in north Zealand—which handle the rejected asylum seekers.
At the Kærshovedgård center, residents have a biometric ID, which they use to register their coming and going. If they are not registered by the system for 72 hours, they are believed to have left and their rooms are cleared out.
Earlier, the Ministry for Immigration and Integration announced that they “estimated” that Denmark would receive an additional 5,000 applications for asylum in Denmark during 2017—a figure which is half the previously announced projections.
Immigration and integration minister Inger Støjberg explained in a statement that the current influx of asylum seekers is below the levels of recent years. So far, “only” about 650 people applied for asylum in Denmark for all of 2017.
“Estimating the number of asylum seekers is an important management tool for asylum operators and municipalities as their capacities [must] naturally adapt to how many [people] come here,” Støjberg said.
She said the current projections are dependent on two factors: firstly, on whether the EU–Turkey refugee agreement continues to stand, and secondly, as long as there is no major surge along the “Balkans” route as there was in 2015.