>> Danish law makers approved funding to send foreign criminals to live on this tiny island Thursday. Up to 100 of them have served jail sentences but can't be deported because they are at risk of torture or execution back home. This marks the latest move in Denmark's ever tightening stance on immigration.
Reuters, Emil Gjerding Nielson in Copenhagen has visited the center. I visited the island recently where it's currently used by scientists from the Danish Technical University, who are researching diseases such as swine flu and rabies. The island is supposed to be established in 2021 and it will cost about $750 million Danish crowns, which is about $100 million U.S. dollars.
>> The criminals have been convicted of crimes ranging from murder and rape, to some less serious offenses. They can leave the island, Southwest of Copenhagen, during the day, but must tell authorities where they are going and then return at night. Although the Danish government has received parliamentary backing, the UN expressed serious concerns about the idea on Wednesday.
>> We have seen the negative impact of such policies of isolation.>> And the U.N. are not the only ones against the decision. Locals are worried about the effects on their livelihood and safety.>> I visited the nearby town called Kalvehave, where the ferry
actually leaves from and I spoke to some of the residents of this town who say they're actually fearing for the future of their town which is quite dependent on tourism.
The contentious decision stems from decades of difficulty in integrating immigrants into Denmark's welfare state. This intensified in 2015 when large groups of asylum seekers fleeing Middle Eastern conflict settled in Europe.