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Liberal Party looking to reduce Migration Board's influence

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08:45 CET+01:00
A working group within the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) wants to strip the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) of its power to appoint legal representatives to asylum seekers.

Integration minister Nyamko Sabuni believes the agency's only roll should be to decide if an asylum seeker be allowed to stay in Sweden, she told Sveriges Radio (SR).

“It's a question of credibility,” she said.

Sabuni says that having the agency charges with deciding an asylum seeker's fate shouldn't also be in charge of deciding who represents the asylum seeker in arguing their case.

The Liberal Party working group proposes instead that Sweden's migration courts take over responsibility for assigning legal representation to asylum seekers.

Moreover, the Migration Board's role can be changed in a number of ways, according to the Liberal Party.

Municipalities, volunteer organizations, or private contractors could also take over responsibility for accepting asylum seekers into the country. In particular, activities such as teaching the Swedish language and orientation for new arrivals could be handled by groups other than the Migration Board.

By reducing the number of activities for which it is responsible, the agency would be able to focus on its “core tasks” or handling asylum claims and other residence permit matter, according to Sabuni.

A could would also result in diminished influence for the Migration Board, a smaller budget.

Sabuni said her party's working group plans to put forward a number of proposals which it hopes will improve Sweden's integration policies.

“We can see today that the median time for new arrivals to enter the workforce after being granted a residence permit is seven years. Therefore, we're argueing that we need to be more effective and offer better conditions for individuals, from when they come to our borders and seek asylum to the time they get a decision and can be introduced into society,” Sabuni told SR.

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