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Muslim women immigrants in Copenhagen. Photo: Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

The Danish government is introducing a new set of assimilation laws that'll apply to 25 immigrant "ghettos" — largely low-income, Muslim-majority urban neighborhoods, reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: Denmark's moves, many of which have already been approved by its parliament, would compel immigrants to assimilate to avoid legal consequences. Critics of the legislation say it essentially imposes harsher laws on certain people simply because they are immigrants.

The backdrop:

  • The influx of immigrants has presented challenges for Denmark's government, which has struggled to integrate the new arrivals to their small, homogenous nation.
  • So "leaders are focusing their ire on urban neighborhoods where immigrants, some of them placed there by the government, live in dense concentrations with high rates of unemployment and gang violence," write the Times' Ellen Barry and Martin Selsoe Sorensen.

The details:

  • The new laws would separate "ghetto children" — that's the government's language — from their parents for 30 hours a week starting at the age of 1. Children would attend mandatory daycare to take lessons in Danish values, Quartz reports. The rest of Denmark's parents can choose not to send their kids to school until they turn 6.
  • Another law under consideration would make punishments for certain crimes harsher just because they were committed in "ghettos."
  • Yet another would forbid immigrant parents from taking their children on extended trips to their home countries because it would risk interfering with the kids' "schooling, language and well-being," per the Times. The punishment for that would be a four years in prison.
  • One proposal, brought forth by Denmark's far-right Danish People's Party, would force "ghetto children" to stay in their homes after 8 p.m. That measure has been rejected, reports the Times.

The bigger picture:

  • Assimilation by law is becoming a trend in Europe, writes Quartz's Annabelle Timsit.
  • "In Germany, language tests are carried out on migrant children in all federal länder as early as kindergarten, or even before kids enroll in schools. German asylum applicants, including children, go through integration courses to learn information about Germany and German values," Timsit writes.
  • "[I]n France, where low-income Muslim migrants and refugees are ghettoized into working-class suburbs called banlieues, the government of Emmanuel Macron is proposing creating independent legal authorities to oversee public policies for the banlieues."

The bottom line:

"We call them 'ghetto children, ghetto parents,' it’s so crazy ... It is becoming a mainstream word, which is so dangerous. People who know a little about history, our European not-so-nice period, we know what the word 'ghetto' is associated with."
— Yildiz Akdogan, a Social Democrat in Danish government, to the Times

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.

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