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After child deportations, minister promises to ‘look over’ Danish residency laws

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After child deportations, minister promises to ‘look over’ Danish residency laws
Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix
17:12 CET+01:00
After the newest wave of reports in the Danish media of children with foreign backgrounds being deported, Integration Minister Inger Støjberg said on Monday that she would consider ways to avoid such cases in the future.
A 13-year-old girl named Atcharapan "Mint" Yaungyai was the latest child to become a media sensation on her way out of the country. 
 
Until earlier this month, Mint lived with her mother and Danish stepfather and stepbrother in Køge near Copenhagen. Mint, who moved to Denmark in 2017 and attended school at seventh grade, the normal level for her age, was refused permission to remain in the country due to not fulfilling Immigration Board (Udlændingenævnet) requirements over integration. She was deported and is now in Thailand with her mother.
 
Her case is just one of several to have made national headlines since a change to Denmark's Integration Law (Integrationsloven) took effect in 2016 that requires all children over the age of eight that move to Denmark to be assessed over their potential for integration before being granted residency.
 
On Monday, Støjberg said her ministry would take unspecified steps to address the issue. 
 
“I have not decided how we will do it better, but there is no doubt that we can be better at informing people of the rules,” she said. “It could be that one is informed of it [the integration assessment, ed.] in the letter granting family reunification.” 
 
The integration minister said that those who are granted family reunification should understand “that one should as quickly as possibly bring a child along rather than allowing them to remain in Thailand, for example, for a few years.”
 
Although she promised to “look the law over”, Støjberg stressed that “the overall goal will not be changed”. 
 
“One should continue to bring their children here quickly so that they can be affected by Danish society,” she said. 
 
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