Liberal politician calls for solution to ID mess

Liberal Party MP Fredrik Malm has followed up on Thursday's interview with the Local by submitting a parliamentary interpellation in support of the right of immigrants to receive Swedish ID cards.

Friday’s interpellation, which calls for the removal of bureaucratic obstacles to integration, is directed at migration minister Tobias Billström from the Moderate Party.

“People who have fled from war and devastation, or who have made their way to Sweden for other reasons, need all the support they can get in order to gain access to Swedish society.

“In order to create a functioning life in Sweden, people need ID documents.

“The ability to identify oneself is necessary for such simple things as retreiving packages from the post office, opening a bank account, renting a video, getting a telephone, or getting a home,” wrote Malm.

The Liberal Party politician describes the situation in which many foreign citizens find themselves since the Swedish Cashier Service tightened its regulations at the beginning of 2007. Without a Swedish spouse or family member, immigrants are effectively prohibited from getting a Swedish ID card.

“This has increased the risk that individuals with temporary or permanent residency permits in Sweden will get caught in a Catch-22 situation when they start building their new lives,” wrote Malm.

One way to solve the problem might be for the Swedish Migration Board to become certified to issue ID cards in conjunction with the granting of residency permits, Malm suggests.

“This would be logical, since the Migration Board already carries out thorough investigations when establishing the identities of asylum seekers,” wrote Malm.

The Liberal member of parliament ends his interpellation by asking what measures Tobias Billström intends taking to ensure that all immigrants in possession of residency permits will once again be able to receive Swedish ID cards.