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Majority want stricter family reunification rules

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Majority want stricter family reunification rules
More than half of Danes say it should be harder for foreign spouses and other family members to come to Denmark. Photo: Colourbox
11:04 CEST+02:00
Danish People's Party says that new poll results show that the government's immigration policies are out of step with the majority of Danish voters.
A majority of Danes think it should be harder to come to Denmark under family reunification rules, according to a new Epinion poll for Danmarks Radio. 
 
Fifty-four percent of poll respondents were in favour of tighter family reunification requirements, while only 25 percent were against making the rules harder. 
 
The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DF) welcomed the results.
 
“I think that more and more Danes have realised that the government’s immigration policies have resulted in more people coming to Denmark – also people that we have a very, very hard time integrating,” DF’s immigration spokesman Martin Henriksen told DR. 
 
The governing Social Democrats said that there are no plans to change family reunification rules. 
 
“I think [the rules] are fair and well-balanced,” party spokeswoman Mette Reismann told DR. “The rules make it possible for Denmark to set requirements for those people who come and reside here.” 
 
The poll results were largely split along ideological lines, with 74 percent of respondents who vote for the right-wing opposition parties supporting more stringent family reunification rules, and 39 percent of left-wing voters calling for tougher requirements. 
 
 
Henriksen said that the latter number should serve as a wake-up call to the left-wing parties.
 
“When nearly 40 percent of people who vote for the ‘red’ parties also want a strengthened immigration policy, it’s a sign that the government and the parties that support the government are out of step with their own voters,” he told DR. 
 
The current Social Democrat and Social Liberals (Radikale) government scrapped the previous Venstre-led government’s point system for family reunification in May 2012. 
 
Numbers released by the Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen) in January showed that the number of family reunifications have increased by 50 percent since the elimination of the point system. The 4,700 family reunification permits granted in 2013 were the highest since 2002. 
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