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

Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 11,031,905 — Total deaths: 523,777 — Total recoveries — 5,834,337Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 2,788,395 — Total deaths: 129,306 — Total recoveries: 790,404 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  5. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
15 hours ago - Sports

Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.