A police officer tries to separate pro-migrants and anti-migrants protesters at the Danish-German border on January 9, 2016 in Krusaa, Denmark. January 9, 2015. AFP / Scanpix Denmark / Scanpix / Claus Fisker
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Hoping to diminish Denmark's appeal to migrants, the country's government plans to force asylum-seekers to hand over any valuables worth more than $1,500 to help cover their housing and food costs while their cases are being processed."Denmark must become significantly less attractive for asylum-seekers," Immigration Minister Inger Stoejberg said Wednesday during the first of three readings of the bill in Parliament. She said fewer refugees would mean better opportunities to integrate immigrants who are already in Denmark.About 20,000 people applied for asylum in Denmark, while 1.1 million did so in Germany and 163,000 in Sweden.Denmark is not the only country taking such action.Michala C. Bendixen, of Refugees Welcome, a group counseling and supporting refugees, said any income from seizing valuables wouldn't go very far in covering the 200,000-kroner ($29,000) annual cost of an asylum-seeker in Denmark.Denmark already tightened its immigration laws in 2002 and adopted new restrictions last year, reducing benefits for asylum-seekers, shortening temporary residence permits and stepping up efforts to deport those whose applications are rejected.
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