Migration Board boss: I’m not quitting

The director general of the Swedish Migration Board, Janna Valik, found out a week ago that staff in Kristianstad had celebrated the deportation of a family of asylum seekers with cake.

Since the story broke today the manager responsible for the party has resigned, but Valik says she has no plans to step down.

Valik was told that the staff celebration in Kristianstad was a planning meeting, and decided that there was no need to intervene.

She also knew back in the spring that staff in Solna had celebrated the deportation of another family with champagne.

The controversy at the Migration Board has deepened with the revelation that a member of staff verbally abused a blind asylum seeker. The departmental has been removed from her post while the case is investigated.

Investigations into all three alleged incidents will be carried out internally and reports submitted in January.

Valik says she cannot guarantee that further similar cases will not emerge. At a press conference in one of the Board’s windowless meeting rooms in Uppsala on Thursday, Valik apologised to all asylum seekers who felt that they had been violated.

Valik presented a plan to improve the organisation’s handling of ethical issues. Many of the measures in the plan had been on the table for some time. They include measures to allow asylum seekers to complain to an ombudsman within the Migration Board with investigative powers. The organisation’s ethical advisory board will also be strengthened, effective in February.

Valik says she has no plans to resign.

“It is not for me to decide whether there is confidence in me,” she said.

And while Green Party deputy Yvonne Ruwaida is demanding the director general’s departure, Valik was supported on Thursday by senior Social Democrats.

TT/The Local