World Bulletin / News Desk
The Danish parliament on Tuesday approved a controversial bill allowing authorities to confiscate valuables of refugees while they process their asylum.
Under the bill, dubbed the "jewelry law" by Danish media, authorities can seize assets of refugees to pay for their food and lodging.
Asylum seekers are required to tell the Danish authorities to what extent they are bringing assets with them to the country.
Danish police will also be allowed to search and inspect the asylum seekers’ bags. However, possessions of personal value such as engagement rings are exempt from being confiscated, Danish officials said.
Asylum seekers will also be allowed to hold on to possessions worth no more than 10,000 Danish krone ($1,450).
The move has been criticized as inciting xenophobia and even compared to Nazis confiscating belongings from the Jews during the Holocaust.
But Danish authorities have refuted the comparison, saying similar rules apply for Danish citizens.
The law will also require asylum seekers who arrive without their relatives to wait at least three years before they can be reunited with their family members.
The bill is expected to take effect in February.