Asylum seekers looking for refuge often have to pay to get away from their war ravaged countries and then pay again to enter the safe zone of Europe.
As politicians in Denmark vote in controversial measures to confiscate the valuables of asylum seekers entering the country, other European nations have revealed they also have similar policies.
At the bottom of the controversy is whether those seeking a new home in Europe are really refugees or economic migrants.
The argument in Europe is as soon as a refugee enters the first safe country after their homeland, they are no longer in flight from danger.
Moving on to another country then becomes economic migration.
The price of freedom
The new laws rushed in by Denmark’s parliament allow the police to grab up to £1,000 cash plus any other valuables considered to be worth more than that amount, such as jewellery, watches and electronic gadgets.
Sentimental objects, like wedding rings, are exempt from seizure.
The money would go towards paying to keep a migrant family in Denmark.
The government also voted that migrants would have to wait three years before they could claim welfare benefits.
Immigrants have to declare their wealth and any valuables worth more than £700 are confiscated.
In The Netherlands, the authorities take up to £9,000 from immigrant families and pay an extra tax on income towards the cost of their upkeep.
In the German state of Bavaria, the government has confirmed local laws correspond to those in Switzerland and police are empowered to confiscate valuables.
Human rights question
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron is demanding refugees and other immigrants should be barred from claiming state benefits for up to four years.
The moves are rising out of the growing consternation of European leaders over the constant flow of refugees from Syria and beyond.
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants have arrived in Greece and Italy over the past year and most have passed on through other European countries to travel to Germany and Sweden.
An immigrant camp at Calais near the Channel Tunnel has also sprung up.
Human rights campaigners in the European Union and United Nations have urged Danish politicians to reconsider and claim the country is breaking a number of international conventions.