The Danish government has proposed that migrants must work 37-hour weeks to earn welfare benefits because “there are too many, especially with non-Western backgrounds, who do not have a job.”
The proposal was made by the minority Social Democratic government, saying that migrants who have been receiving benefits for at least three years must find work, reports the Daily Mail.
The party said the proposal was necessary because too many women of foreign descent did not work, especially those with roots from the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey.
“If you come to Denmark, you have to work and support yourself and your family,” the proposal read. “If one cannot support oneself, one must have a duty to participate and contribute what is equivalent to a regular working week to receive the full welfare benefit.”
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen claims that the policy’s intention is to aid migrants in integrating into Danish society and encourage them to learn the language.
Frederiksen, whose party is traditionally left-wing, adopted a right-wing anti-immigration policy after she took office in 2019, with a target of zero asylum claims.
She also added that the crackdown on immigration was to protect the Danish welfare system so it can continue accommodating those in need of welfare in the country.
The proposal has not gone without criticism, Mai Villadsen, a member of the opposition Red-Green Alliance, branded the idea as “foolish,” arguing that the proposal would lead to downward pressure on wages of other workers.
“The foundation of our welfare society is a strong safety net,” Ms. Villadsen wrote on Twitter.
No date has yet been set for the 179-seat parliament to vote on the proposal. Although the Social Democrats do not have a majority, they are likely to get support from center-right lawmakers to pass it.