migrants Denmark Germany Syria
Danish police guard a train carrying migrants, mainly from Syria and Iraq, at Rodby train station REUTERS/Jens Norgaard Larsen/Scanpix Denmark

Danish lawmakers want police to be given the power to strip refugees of jewellery and other valuables.

The Danish parliament debated the measure which would allow border police to confiscate jewellery and cash to the value of €300 to cover resettlement costs, Sweden's STV reported.

After the debate, the MPs decided that refugees should be allowed to keep their wedding rings, mobile phones, and laptops in the bill that is expected to be passed when voted on in January.

Sören Pind, Denmark's immigration minister, told Danish television that the measure was necessary as it was the only way the country could afford to resettle refugees in asylum centres.

"I'm talking about a situation in which there are personal items of significant value but no sentimental worth," Pind told the television station. "I'm talking about a situation in which a man comes along with a case full of diamonds and asks for protection in Denmark. That's only fair."

Denmark has introduced several anti-immigration measures in recent months, cutting the benefits that refugees can claim by 50%, and even placed 'Don't come here' adverts in several Arabic newspapers warning refugees that Denmark did not have the capacity to accommodate them.

The policy was introduced by the anti-immigration Danish People's Party, which became the country's second biggest party in June's parliamentary elections.

The policy has provoked comparison with the Nazi policy of confiscating valuables from Jewish and other refugees, with Venstre MP Martin Geertsen calling it "severe personal abuse" that "awakens terrifying historical images".

Zachary Whyte, an asylum and integration researcher at the University of Copenhagen told the Washington Post: "It is pretty telling about the current Danish policies that [some] are not quite sure whether this is a hoax or not."