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MIGRATIONSVERKET

Family outrage over 90-year-old’s deportation

90-year-old Ganna Chyzhevska, suffering from dementia and heart disease, will be sent back to Ukraine, even though the relatives who want to care for her are living in Sweden.

Family outrage over 90-year-old's deportation
90-year-old Ganna Chyzhevska with great-grandson Elvin.

“Sometimes she understands that she will be sent away from us and sometimes she doesn’t,” granddaughter Anna Otto told The Local.

When Ganna Chyzevska’s husband died of cancer eight years ago, her daughter and granddaughter, who have been living in Sweden since 1995 and are Swedish citizens, applied for residency on her behalf based on family connections.

Since then, Chyzevska has been forced to travel between Ukraine and Sweden several times, only being granted temporary visas and residency permits for short periods of time.

Chyzevska’s application for residency was initially denied due to what Otto describes as “not a close enough family connection”.

”We didn’t live in the same household as my grandmother before we moved to Sweden. My mother was 50 years old when she moved here. It isn’t common for a person to live with their parents at that age,” saíd Otto.

According to Swedish law, a family member needs to be living with their adult children and be financially dependent on them before the residency permit is granted based on family connections.

“Before 1997 we were allowed to grant residency to elderly parents whose adult children were living in Sweden, but then the law was changed,” said Mikael Ribbenvik, legal expert at the Migration Board (Migrationsverket), to The Local.

Since the beginning of the process, Chyzevska’s applications for permanent residency have been denied seven times.

“This last time it was her health. The medical certificate does not show that her health is deteriorating and so they denied her application,” Otto said.

Chyzevska’s doctor, Claes von Segebaden, wrote in a letter to the Migration Board that the chances of the elderly woman being able to manage on her own in Kiev are slim.

“The patient shows significant signs of dementia,” he wrote.

Von Segebaden has concluded that Chyzevska shows clear signs of an Alzheimer’s type of illness, as well as ischemic heart syndrome and strongly diminished eyesight as the result of a cataract operation.

However, Chyzevska’s appeal for consideration of her diminished health had no impact, as the decision to deport her was not changed.

According to the Migration Board it is not easy to get to stay in Sweden due to medical reasons.

To be allowed to stay the applicant has to prove that the country does not have capability to offer the care needed.

“We are not allowed to take into consideration whether the patient will be able to afford the treatment in their country or not,” said Ribbenvik.

He said that it is not easy to make these kinds of decisions, as it is almost impossible not to feel for the people you are dealing with, but that the Migration Board is bound under Swedish law, and therefore their hands are tied.

Otto told The Local that a meeting had been scheduled for Monday, September 5th to plan the particulars of Chyzevska’s deportation.

When she arrived at the meeting with a list of questions for the officers, she was told that they wouldn’t be able to answer any of them.

“I was told that I just had a choice; to set a definite date for my grandmother’s deportation or let the matter be handed over to the police,” Otto said.

Otto has so far staged a demonstration to persuade authorities to let her grandmother stay in the country and has collected 426 signatures on her behalf.

“If she goes back to the Ukraine she has nowhere to live and she won’t know her way around. Often she doesn’t even remember who I am,” said Otto to The Local.

Chyzevska’s deportation date has been set for October 3rd.

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IMMIGRATION

Attack on migration minister at refugee home

UPDATED: Sweden's Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson has been attacked with a fire extinguisher after visiting a housing project for refugees in southern Sweden, but is not thought to have been injured.

Attack on migration minister at refugee home
Sweden's Minister for Justice and Migration, Morgan Johansson. Photo: TT
Morgan Johansson was leaving the building when a man grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed foam over the minister, according to reports in regional newspaper Kristianstadsbladet.
 
According to the paper, the Social Democrat politician barely had time to react before a guard from Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) pulled the man to the ground.
 
The minister had spent the day visiting various locations around Kristianstad, a city in Skåne in southern Sweden.
 
The refugee accommodation he was attacked at is on the former site of Broby Hospital, a healthcare centre which closed down several years ago.
 

Sweden became the first European country in 2013 to grant automatic residency to Syrian refugees and has since seen asylum requests rise to record levels, which are still expected to reach about 90,000 in 2015.

Previously no more than 200 asylum seekers were permitted to stay in one centre. But under the new rules, the Migration Board can sign a basic contract for 350 places, including two supplementary agreements of 150 places each after the first ones have been filled.

According to the Swedish Migration Board's latest prognosis, 15,000 more asylum places will need to be created in the coming year.

Last week a survey by pollsters Ipsos commissioned by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter suggested that more than 60 percent of Swedes believe that immigration is good for the country, but just ten percent agree that integration efforts are working well.

Morgan Johansson told local news network P4 Kristianstad that he had been "taken by surprise", but added that he had not been injured.

"But you shouldn't treat these things too lightly either. You can't just say 'move on', because of course it's serious," he said.

The attack on the politician took place as Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven reiterated his commitment to helping refugees, but called on other EU nations to share the burden.

"We need to provide security for the refugees who risk facing death just a few mile off the coast of Europe, and get more of the EU member states to take responsibility for refugee protection," he said in a speech at a school in Gothenburg.

"Germany and Sweden take the greatest responsibility. More countries need to help take care of refugees," he added.