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How does the police handle forced returns in Denmark? Our reporter has met with the Head of the Return Unit, Kai  Poulsen and superintendent Steen Norup Andersen for a talk on the subject


How is it like to deport some one. How do you feel?

Mr. Steen: I feel very sad for this person because I have been in many countries and I know what is going on. It is sad to send a person to a poor life, but I have to rely on the Immigration Board’s decision; that this person does not meet the criterias for protection in Denmark. He has been rejected and has to leave the country.


Mr. Kai: I also think it´s sad for these persons, but I have to obey the rules and regulations of Denmark. If the Immigration Authorities  directs me to make sure that the rejected people are leaving Denmark, I have to act professionally.  A law without enforcement is not a law.

After receiving a negative reply, can the asylum seeker be deported without a warning, shortly afterwards ?

No. First we call the person in for an interview and  tell him what is going to happen. Depending on the decision of the Immigration Board, the asylum seeker have to either leave immediately, or in seven days.

If the asylum seeker is not cooperating, and stays in Denmark, we inform him the possible conscequences. Firstly his pocket money will be reduced. Secondly, he can be moved to one of the returning centers where he will have to show up regulary at the police station and sign a paper. For instance two days in a week.  And thirdly, he will not be allowed to travel to  any country in the Schengen area for at least two years.

Do you put them in prison?

It depends on the individual case.

Do you exchange information about the deported asylum seeker with the local police in the asylum seeker’s home country?

No. When we communicate with the local authorities we do not say that this person has been asking for asylum in Denmark. We just tell them, that we are police officials from Denmark and that this person no longer has the right to stay in Denmark.

Have you ever deported anyone to his/her country and the home country refused to take that person?

Before we take the decision of deporting an asylum seeker we have been in contact with the home country’s authorities and made all arrangements. In a few cases the deported person is to be presented to the home country authorities at the border. If the authorities refuse to receive the person, he/she will return to Denmark with the Danish escort officers.

Have you ever found out that people have been killed or tortured after being deported?

No. We hear that some of the returned asylum seekers are put in prison a few days just to find their true identity.

Is it true that if you wish to deport someone and the home country denies him, the Danish Immigartion Service gives the person a resident permit?

No. It is not true. But in some cases it can happen. For instance if a husband and wife come from two different countries, and their home countries do only accept the one belonging to their country. Then it is very difficult to separate them. But these cases are very rare.

Also, if you have been cooperating with the police from the day the Immigration Service has rejected your case, and you have not been able to return to your home country for one and a half year, you can be given a limited stay. But it is not a resident permit.


Deportation is the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place. All countries reserve the right of deportation of foreigners, even those who are longtime residents. In general, foreigners who have committed serious crimes, entered the country illegally, overstayed their visa or otherwise lost their legal status to remain in the country may be deported.

Find more information on www.politi.dk


Photo: Tania (Model picture)

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