Police raid at homeless shelter

Some 69 homeless arrested on suspicion of being illegal immigrants Early this morning, police raided a homeless shelter in the city, arresting 69 of the 100 overnight guests. Privately funded homeless shelter En Varm Seng (A Warm Bed) was surrounded...

Early this morning, police raided a homeless shelter in the city, arresting 69 of the 100 overnight guests.

Privately funded homeless shelter En Varm Seng (A Warm Bed) was surrounded by ten police vehicles in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The detained were driven away on buses to the police station in Valby, which the police normally uses for mass arrests.

“We need to establish whether these people are entitled to be in Denmark or whether they should be deported,” a spokesperson for the Copenhagen Police told Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

In addition to checking the identities and residence permits, the police also searched the shelter for stolen goods and illegal drugs. The findings have not yet been announced.

“If their papers are in order and we don’t find anything illegal on them, well let them go back to sleep,” he said.

April Chris, the founder of En Varm Seng, was present during the raid. She said the shelter has been working with the police to stamp out the myths about illegal immigrants staying at the shelter.

“It is hard to see people that you’ve come to know well being thrown out like that,” she said. “But they’re taking it nicely, since we’ve had the opportunity to explain what is going on.”

Danish law prohibits foreigners from staying at publicly funded homeless shelters. En Varm Seng was established last year as an emergency shelter for foreigners. Its policy of not rejecting anyone has met with harsh criticism from politicians.

“The shelters are for people who would otherwise have to sleep on the streets,” said Benedikte Kiær,the social affairs minister. “But they shouldn’t be abused as cheap hostels for foreigners:”

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The Copenhagen Post

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