• Sweden edition
 
Work must come before reunification: minister

Work must come before reunification: minister

Published: 03 Dec 2012 17:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Dec 2012 17:05 GMT+01:00

Two years ago, a law came into force requiring immigrants to have a job and somewhere to live before applying to have their families follow them to Sweden.

In 2011, 366 applications by immigrants to join a family member in Sweden were rejected because the person in question was not working.

By 2011, less than half that number were rejected, reports political newspaper Riksdag & Department (RoD) after looking at Migration Board">Migration Board (Migrationsverket) figures, something which doesn't sit well with Billström.

”Far too few people are subjected to this requirement if you look at it in relation to the large number of people who come to Sweden through family reunification," he told Sveriges Radio (SR).

"That’s why the self-sufficiency requirement should be thoroughly examined."

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt stood behind his minister on Monday.

“Tobias Billström feels that exceptions to the law have become too widespread,” Reinfeldt told the TT news agency.

But other members of the government coalition think the exceptions were made for good reason.

“People who are issued an exception to the rules are mostly minors. They have been living in the very situation from which their parents fled,” Christian Democrat MP Emma Henriksson, who sits on the parliamentary committee on social security, told TT.

"We’re talking about Somalia but also Syria.

"It is important to us that we don’t propagate policies that keep families apart. Parents and children should be together.”

The government says the law was meant to provide an incentive for immigrants to find work, a claim Reinfeldt reiterated on Monday.

"We think it’s important that immigrants are included in our labour policy. It is also a way for Sweden to prepare for the many relatives we are expecting,” said Reinfeldt.

Earlier this year, Sweden scrapped a requirement that Somali immigrants show documentation to prove family ties. The government instead opened the door for DNA testing.

"Somalis are one example,” Reinfeldt said.

"But in general this is related to our high level of asylum seekers. And it will apply to unaccompanied refugee minors who at a later date want their families to follow.”

The prime minister seemed aware that his Billström might face some opposition for his call to make it hard to claim an exception to self-sufficiency requirements.

“We have to discuss this with our coalition partners and also, further on, with the Green Party,” Reinfeldt told the TT news agency.

After the last election, the centre-right Alliance government struck a deal with the opposition Green Party on immigration policy

The agreement was a way to exclude the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats from having any chance to vote against the minority government in parliament on issues related to immigration policy.

The deal with the Green Party has already forced the government to make certain compromises.

Green Party migration policy spokeswoman Maria Ferm said on Monday that her party would not get involved in changing the current reunification rules.

“It is a human right to be reunited with your family if you have escaped war or conflict,” she told TT.

She also said the proposal could damage Sweden’s efforts to help newly-arrived immigrants integrate.

"It’s counter-productive. If people have to worry constantly about their family and whether they are alive or dead, it is difficult to get into a new society, learn a new language and find a job," said Ferm.

TT/The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

19:26 December 3, 2012 by intrepidfox
"It is important to us that we don't propagate policies that keep families apart. Parents and children should be together."

What sort of parents flees a country and leaves their children behind ?
19:52 December 3, 2012 by J Jack
He's right, the first needs to support the second. One needs a legitimate job or income source to do this.
20:23 December 3, 2012 by riose
@intrepidfox

The sort that likes his children to eat every day.

They send all the money they can spare to their families.

What kind of bubble are you living in to not know that?
20:35 December 3, 2012 by godnatt
It takes time but sanity seems to be prevailing slowly but surely over here...

Nice work Mr. Billström.
20:55 December 3, 2012 by RobinHood
The Sweden Democrats soar in the polls, and suddenly their policies are actually OK after all.
21:22 December 3, 2012 by CanadianEh
You really want to control immigration in Sweden. Prioritize how many refugees you accept annually, because realistically Sweden does not have the resources to integrate refugees. Immigrants on the other hand came he paying a fee waiting in line etc etc. so this debate about immigration is not really a debate.

The main idea is to control the amount of refugees accepted and actually have the resources to help them. Until these close minded individuals start understanding the difference between and immigrant and a refugee then policies will never change in this country.

So wake up an actually stop being the refugee basket for the rest of Europe because your system sucks and it will always suck because things here are done to slow and everybody is looking out for themselves and not the majority.
21:38 December 3, 2012 by Keith #5083
Sweden has a fine tradition of humanitarian assistance. One of which it should be justifiably proud.

I know personally people who came from Vietnam,Kosovo, Lebanon,etc.,leaving war-torn homelands to come to a strange country.The help and assistance they received was mostly greeted with sincere and honourable gratitude and repaid with reasonable levels of integration..

I am aware that some,as in all societies, abuse 'the system'. That, however,is no reason to condemn all.

This having been said, there is a vast difference between refugees from war' and 'economic refugees'.

There is nothing offensive in requiring that a person has a job to support applications for his family to join him/her.Most 'genuine' migrants would not have it any other way.
21:47 December 3, 2012 by jostein
I think many of us voted for these creatures 2006, believing they would put a stop to the insanity and then continue to rule the country in a normal and responsible fashion.

Who would have thought they had turned into cultural marxist fanatics? It simply came out of the blue. At least to those of us that were not so extremely interested in swedish party politics at that time.

Fool me once..
00:54 December 4, 2012 by Svensksmith
@riose

Yeah, I like to make sure my children eat daily. That's why I have a job and go to work everyday.
03:51 December 4, 2012 by fareasttiger
I now firmly believe that most swedes don't like their own people, that's why they will not rest until the have destoyed themselves completely. How else can anyone explain this madness? Common sense is not so common, and that is very true in every sense. My prediction, that the SD will get 20% in 2014, and I can not say that im sad. The enemy of my....?
08:41 December 4, 2012 by bluerain303
I can not agree more!
11:18 December 4, 2012 by riose
@Svensksmith

Quoting the first comment:

"What sort of parents flees a 'house to work' and leaves their children behind ? "
12:41 December 4, 2012 by NyDag
@ riose

He said country, learn to read please. He has a point too, what kind of parents WOULD flee a country and leave their children behind?
14:08 December 4, 2012 by 78294624673872845638392938
riose, that is the dumbest thing I have ever read. The sad part is you probably think you're being clever or something.
02:20 December 5, 2012 by Natour
Swedish migration board don't believe in the importance of family reunification, they previously split families and they are still doing this under unreasonable reasons, some employees there can't understand that other countries are not like Sweden and a decision that was made without enough investigation can destroy a family and deny the kids from their basic rights and living a normal life.

Even though suggested law seems logical if the unemployment rates is lower and there are more job opportunities.
06:52 December 5, 2012 by sootysmum
How come the government is so concerned about immigrants that they forget to look after their own citizens. Almost all rapes are committed by Muslims and the numbers have gone up dramatically. The ministers now need police protection as they have been attacked by Muslims. And, what about the Jews being forced out of their own homes to become refugees elsewhere?

Yes, the government should consider family life but how about starting at home with their own people?
13:51 December 6, 2012 by GoldieHeart
@intrepidfox : I think what Riose is trying to explain is that there is parents who leave children to relatives, meaning grandparents, aunts, brothers or even separate from their wife/husband and move to another country to work. They do not leave them in the street. The money that they might earn in a developed country like Sweden working as waiters or street cleaners is often enough to provide for whole families back home, their food, medicine and well-being. Ideally they would have their families with them. You will be surprised at the cruel choices people in poverty striken countries have to make in order to SURVIVE.
Today's headlines
Russian jets violate Swedish airspace: report
Russian Su-24 medium-range bomber, known by Nato as 'Fencer,' flies at undisclosed location in Russia in 2002. File photo: AP

Russian jets violate Swedish airspace: report

Two Russian fighter jets violated Swedish airspace on Wednesday, prompting the government to request an urgent report from the Armed Forces. READ  

Business
Sweden’s growth 'better than expected'
Strong household consumption is helping Sweden's growth. Photo: Mona-Lisa Djerf/SvD/TT

Sweden’s growth 'better than expected'

Sweden’s gross domestic product grew 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier, with the economy performing much better than previously thought. READ  

Presented by West Sweden
West Sweden prepares for lobster premiere
Sweden's lobster season starts on Monday. Photo: Jonas Ingman

West Sweden prepares for lobster premiere

It's almost time to catch your own dinner off the west coast of Sweden. The lobster season gets underway on Monday, with fishermen and tourists taking to the seas in the hope of stocking up on the traditional Swedish delicacy. READ  

National
Gas leak leaves Sony staff in Sweden hospital

Gas leak leaves Sony staff in Sweden hospital

An Ozone gas leak at Sony Mobile's offices in Lund has put eight people in hospital, with nine others needing to be checked by doctors. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats get permission to govern
Stefan Löfven is set to become Prime Minister. Photo: TT

Social Democrats get permission to govern

Sweden's parliamentary speaker has given Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven the all-clear to form a government. On Friday Löfven is expected to meet the heads of the Liberal and Centre parties. READ  

Elections 2014
Vote quirk gives Sweden Democrats extra seats
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson celebrates his party's election success. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Vote quirk gives Sweden Democrats extra seats

The Sweden Democrats, who became the third largest party in Sunday's election, have learned they will get two more seats than expected due to a quirk in the country's election system. READ  

Tech
Ericsson to axe modems and cut jobs
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg, pictured here presenting the comapny's quarterly report in July. Photo: Annika af Klercker/TT

Ericsson to axe modems and cut jobs

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has confirmed it will cut jobs in Sweden and abroad after the company announced on Thursday morning it would stop developing modems. READ  

Elections 2014
Centre party laughs off Löfven's advances
Annie Lööf speaks after her meeting with parliament's speaker on Wednesday. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Centre party laughs off Löfven's advances

UPDATED: Centre Party leader Annie Lööf has reiterated her reluctance to cooperate across bloc lines with Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, as he renews his attempts to form a fresh government. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden Democrats want prized speaker job
Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder celebrates Sunday's election result. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Sweden Democrats want prized speaker job

UPDATED: As Sweden’s third largest party, the Sweden Democrats "assume" they will be given one of a handful of prestigious parliamentary speaker jobs, party secretary Björn Söder tells The Local. READ  

National
Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'
Photo: Peder Skrivares school

Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'

School inspectors are investigating after an initiation ceremony at a high school in Varberg in south west Sweden left four girls in hospital. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Blog updates

17 September

Deep election analysis (Blogweiser) »

"You think you’re bad? Well I’m American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbomLID0vU Deep deep analysis on Swedish election results. Vlog post: https://t.co/tjQgfa5Yie #svpol #val2014 #politics pic.twitter.com/oEK5ADFT8L — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 17, 2014 " READ »

 

15 September

Liten, litet, små & lilla (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Have you ever been confused about when to use “liten”, “litet”, “små” and “lilla”? Today I’m going to sort out how use the adjective “liten” (small) and the different forms of it. Liten or litet? “Liten” is the form we will use when referring to a noun with the gender “en”. For example: Min pappa har en..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

860
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN