Deportation costs escalate

The costs of deporting failed asylum seekers from Sweden has escalated. 116 million kronor ($19.5 million) was spent on deporting unsuccessful asylum seekers in 2007.

Figures from the National Prisons and Probation Administration (Kriminalvården) show that the cost of deportations increased by 19 million kronor, a rise of 20 percent, from 2006. The sum is forecast to increase substantially; to 144 million kronor in 2008 and to 200 million kronor by 2009, reports Dagens Nyheter.

One of the reasons for the escalating cost is the increase in the number of failed deportations. 43 deportations were unsuccessful in 2007, in two-thirds of the cases due to insufficient identification.

“43 too many,” according to Hans Rosenqvist at the National Police Board (RPS).

The police are responsible for deciding when a deportation should occur and Dan Eliason, director-general of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) is critical of their approach.

“When the police don’t prioritize deportations our work becomes meaningless,” Eliason told Dagens Nyheter.

There are currently 8,000 immigrants living in Sweden that have had their asylum applications rejected. Many have gone into hiding.

“The longer time that it takes before they leave the country, the harder is becomes. It never gets easier with time. Instead they become increasingly established in Sweden.” Eliason said.

Peter Könberg at Stockholm’s border police confirms that deportations are becoming more complicated as failed asylum seekers become familiar with effective methods to prevent their deportation on scheduled flights.

“Deportations are getting harder and harder, more and more complicated,” he said.