Legal Letters, Februar 2008
Advisers at Dansk Flygtningehjælp answer your questions about asylum and the law.
I am a rejected asylum seeker, am I therefore an illegal immigrant?
A more complex question than it appears! Most times an illegal immigrant is defined as; “A person who enters and lives in a country in violation of that coun- try's laws”. A rejected asylum seeker did not necessarily enter the country in violation of the law; he might have had a visa or another kind of residence permit when crossing the border. And even if he did not enter the coun- try legally the Refugee Conven- tion art. 31 would most likely prohibit punishment of his illegal entry. On the other hand if a per- son after having his asylum case rejected and for no valid reason stays in the country, he can be said to live in the country in violation of the laws of the country. So the question is whether or not this fact alone is enough to categorize him as an illegal immigrant. I would prefer to just call him a rejected asylum seeker.
I am considering signing up for the new program of education and training for rejected Iraqi asylum seekers, but first I must sign that I agree to be repatriated when the training is ended. There is a "get-out" clause allowing me to change my mind about going home at any time. What safeguards are there that the "get-out" clause remains valid?
The safeguards of the “get-out” clause are linked to the lacking possibility to carry out forceful returns to Iraq. In that case it is possible to refuse to participate in the return and stay in Denmark. According to the program it is not possible to change ones mind more than once. If you drop out of the program, you will loose the financial return assistance.
On 23rd October the government announced that rejected asylum seeker families may live outside the centres so that the children may have a more normal life. Will all members of my family be able to live outside the centre? One of my children is over 18 years old and the others are under 18.
The Ministry of Integration informs that the proposal that rejected asylum seekers should be allowed to live outside the asylum centres only applies to families with minor children, i.e. below the age of 18. It is a criterion that the family has lived in Denmark for several years and comes from a country to which the family cannot be forcefully deported at the moment.
At the time of going to print, further criteria have, according to the Ministry, not yet been defined. It is therefore not possible to answer your question on whether all members of a family with chil- dren above and below the age of 18 would be able to live outside the centres.
Have you got any questions?
Write to: New Times c/o Red Cross House H. C. Ørstedsvej 47, 1879 Frederiksberg C Or email us at: newtimesdk@ gmail.com Please feel free to ask your questions anonymously.
You can also contact: Dansk Flygtningehjælp Legal Councelling Unit Asylum Department Borgergade 10 Postbox 53 1002 København K
www.flygtingehjælp.dk Email: email@example.com Free legal counselling for asy- lum seekers every Wednesday from 13:00 – 15:00 You need to present your ques- tions in Danish or English.