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Reinfeldt defends migrant deportation push

Reinfeldt defends migrant deportation push

Published: 18 Mar 2013 10:34 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Mar 2013 10:34 GMT+01:00

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Sunday defended recent efforts by police to identify and deport immigrants who remain in Sweden illegally.

"Those who have been denied entry or received deportation orders should leave the country," Reinfeldt told Svergies Television (SVT) on Sunday.

"Should people be allowed to stay simply because they go into hiding for a few weeks? That would be a very strange society."

The prime minister's comments come in response to an ongoing debate in Sweden about law enforcement's approach to carrying out deportation orders.

Critics have accused police in Stockholm of racial profiling in asking "non-Swedish looking" commuters for identification. Others have questioned whether police should be prioritizing deportation order enforcement over traditional law enforcement operations.

While police announced earlier in March that they had abandoned random ID-checks, thousands took to the streets to protest the initiative, known as the Reva project, which stands for Rättssäkert och effektivt verkställighetsarbete ('Legal and effective execution of policy').

The debate gained new life last week when Swedish author Jonas Hassen Khemiri published an open letter in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper challenging Justice Minister Beatrice Ask to "change skin" with him.

The article generated was widely shared on social media and prompted many to share their experiences of being victimized by what Khemiri referred to as Sweden's "structural racism".

When asked about the article, Reinfeldt refused to comment specifically on the controversial methods other than to point out that police have said the tactics are no longer in use.

"I'm not here to discuss matters related to police operations, I'm responsible more for making laws," he said.

Reinfeldt added, however, that since 2009 the government has pushed immigration and law enforcement authorities in Sweden to do a better job of enforcing deportation orders.

According to the prime minister, no party in the Riksdag is currently in favour of open borders, although the proposal has been discussed recently within the Centre Party.

"I want to be clear that I've told the police that in Sweden, everyone is equal before the law," he said, adding he sees no reason to change Sweden's laws.

"If you've been rejected in a country with the most generous asylum and migration rules in the entire developed world, I think you should respect the decision," Reinfeldt said.

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Your comments about this article

12:09 March 18, 2013 by johan rebel
Better late than never, I suppose, but an even more principled stance and robust defense of the police would have been welcome.

Khemiri needs to get a life. Preferably somewhere else, so we don't have to listen to his whinging and whining anymore.
12:30 March 18, 2013 by bolababu
i have to go with Reinfeldt on that last comment;

"If you've been rejected in a country with the most generous asylum and migration rules in the entire developed world, I think you should respect the decision," Reinfeldt said.

in the proccess of respecting the decision, you respect yourself. The only glitch here is that there are cases where the people who really truly need asylum don't get it and those who lie and pretend actually fool officials and are granted residence.
12:36 March 18, 2013 by zebi
I agree that illegal immigrants should leave the country but this is not the case. The case is the racial-profiling methods police used while identifiying illegal immigrants. If primenister is defending the methods used by police then it is clear that he is distinguishing ethnic and non-ethnic swedes in the swedish society.

I dont know the meaning of illegal and legal immigrants. God has created this world borderless. No body is the real owner of the tracts they are living on. If we start from the human history it is obvious that humans came from different places without any visa or legal papers. In short, who is legal and illegal is our own self-made term we pose on people for our own sake.


13:01 March 18, 2013 by ragdoll
Khemini's article was a bunch of whiney nonsense. The entire premise was a gimmick and his examples of racism were just silly. There's real racism in this world and having a question asnwered in English doesn't qualify. Good for Reinfeldt for ignoring him and for at least considering that a coherent and enforced immigration policy is best for Sweden and the best way to confront anti-immigrant bais. Its also the best way to defeat SD in case that's on the left's agenda.
13:09 March 18, 2013 by skogsbo
zebi, god didn't create any world, he doesn't exist. Borders exist because we humans are tribal people. As for profiling, how else will you find illegal immigrants? Just walk up and ask every single person you see?

Yes, tribes roamed, then established camps, then they defended their territority.
13:37 March 18, 2013 by RobinHood
It's very rare for a Prime Minister to feel it necessary to remind people that it his (and his minsters) duty to enforce the law.

It's sad that certain parts of the media - including The Local - have made it necessary for him to do so.

If The Local wants Sweden to have open borders, then it should come right out and say so. If the Local feels that laws its journalists disagree with should go unenforced, it should come right out an say so. If the Local has become an in-house propaganda tool for the Greens, then it should come right out and say so.

Readers have become irritated by The Local's never-ending parade of intelligent immigrants (the usual suspects) boring us with monologues about how a policeman was beastly to them once in 2003.
14:03 March 18, 2013 by recklessrashid
im a decocrat from the US and this Local even seems very left wing bias to me. not the comments, just the articles.
17:49 March 18, 2013 by Logic_and_Reason
While I agree with Mr. Reinfeldt that those refused residency should go, I think we should all consider what it would be like to be one of those rejected asylum-seekers. Where, exactly, would you be sent back to? Syria? Iraq? Afghanistan? Balarus? Would you put a smile on your face and hop on the bus with a spring in your step knowing full well what awaited you upon your return? For many of these people, death would be a serious consideration upon reentering the nation they fled. And if not death or beatings, then brutal poverty. Once you get a taste of Sweden's wealth, even just basking in its glow, it is hard to go back to sh*tting in pails, drinking dirty water and cooking rats for dinner. Would you go back willingly or would you run for the woods as fast as you could?
19:10 March 18, 2013 by Kronaboy
When you live long enough you realise there is nothing new in politics, just the same sh*t regurgitated over and over again. What Rhinfeld is doing is exactly what Thatcher did to win over the NF vote, talking though on immigration. The reality is you can no more stop the natural migration of people than you can that of birds: yeah Thatcher talked though, but the fact is migration and multiculturalism flourished further under her regime than under old Uncle Jim;)
19:15 March 18, 2013 by Reason and Realism
@ Logic_and_Reason

It is good natured of you to appeal to all of us on behalf of war refugees, but Sweden now takes in (and has taken in over the past several decades) vastly more of these (per capita) than the rest of Western Europe, so your appeal should in fairness be made more strongly to the rest of Western Europe.

Moreover vastly more people can be protected under the same funding budget if these funds are used to house refugees in neighbouring countries such as Turkey.

And for your information any Syrian who has been granted asylum in Sweden in the past two years would certainly not be kicked out now and sent back to Syria, and I'll add that no one is shitting in pails or eating rats in Belarus.
19:42 March 18, 2013 by Keith #5083
@reason and realism

I don't think I have ever before heard such a sensible and humane suggestion as that contained within your second paragraph.

In our desire to be helpful it is worth questioning whether requiring considerable cultural change is truly helpful to traumatised persons.
06:09 March 19, 2013 by hackie

If you believe in big bang theory and you don't believe that GOD created the universe, then you are nothing but a fool.
11:04 March 20, 2013 by Max Reaver

No surprise, since your so-called left wingers in states are often more right than the right wingers in Europe. There is no left in US, only right and far-right.

There are three kinds of foreign-looking groups: the legal immigrants, the illegal immigrants, and the half-Swedes who are Swedish since birth. There will be more and more half-Swedes to come. Over time it is going to be more and more impossible/inappropriate to judge by skin-color. My friends used to tell this joke. When a substitute teacher comes into a classroom, she was informed there was a new student from Africa. She turned to the only black student and said "welcome", this student was like "screw u i'm from Umeå" and the African student turned out to be white.

To johan rebel up there, Khemiri has a Swedish mother, so he stays as long as he wants!
11:18 March 20, 2013 by robban70226
100% agree with him, go for it and clean the house!!... if you expect to be elected again
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