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(Publicerat idag kl 17.31)

Criticism against Hägglund's asylum cutbacks

Published fredag 19 december 2014 kl 09.11
"We can't see how these protect the right to asylum"
(2:03 min)
Göran Hägglund (CD) Photo: Jessica Gow/Sverge Radio
Göran Hägglund (CD) Photo: Jessica Gow/Sverge Radio

Christian Democratic party leader Göran Hägglund's proposals to change Sweden's asylum policy are being met with some harsh criticism from organizations like Save the Children and Amnesty International, and the Migration Board itself.

The Migration Board (Migrationsverket) told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet Thursday that Hägglund's claim that his proposals will save Sweden money is wrong, saying that they will in fact cost more. This is because one of the proposals, to grant temporary residence permits initially instead of permanent ones, will cause more work for the Migration Board, as people will have to re-apply for a residence permit after three years.

Aid organization Save the Children told Swedish Radio News that Hägglund's proposals will lead to worse integration and undo stress and worry for children.

Madelaine Seidlitz, from Amnesty International, told Swedish Radio News, "we can't see how any of his proposals protect the right to asylum, although he wrote this is what he is after."

Seidlitz also disagrees with Hägglund's proposal to speed up the application and rejection process for people coming from countries considered safe. She says that proposal ignores the "structural discrimination" against Roma people, which they experience in their home countries.

Other suggestions launched by party leader Göran Hägglund on Thursday include lower benefits for asylum seekers, coupled with incentives to work instead, in the form of a tax break for newly-arrived asylum seekers, meaning they would not have to pay income tax for the first five years if they earn less than SEK 100,000 annually, and could hence earn more from a low paid job.

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