In 2011, an ‘open’ emergency clinic was established in Copenhagen to care for the unmet healthcare needs of irregular migrants. The clinic was established by three organizations: the Danish Red Cross, the Danish Medical Association, and the Danish Refugee Council. In asserting the necessity of the initiative, the founding organizations referred to UN conventions that define the obligation of healthcare professionals to treat healthcare needs irrespective of an individual’s nationality, race, religion, or legal status. The irrefutable value of caring for the health of all humans independently of their circumstances carries a universalist aspiration that is at odds with the restrictive eligibility criteria of contemporary nation-states. In fact, the founding organizations argue that the emergency clinic is necessary because the Danish state, like many other European states, does not comply with the universal principles of the UN declarations on human rights signed by the Danish government. Access to the official Danish healthcare system can only be granted if the migrant obtains legitimate status by having his or her case tried by the immigration authorities. This condition naturally has the effect of deterring many of those who reside illegally in the country from seeking proper medical treatment in the public healthcare system. Notably, then, the number of visits to emergency rooms has exceeded 10,000.