Sweden proposes workplace raids to speed up migrant deportations
A new government proposal for deporting more refused asylum seekers from Sweden would allow the police to access workplaces and carry out ID checks without prior suspicion of crime.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Justice and Migration Minister Morgan Johansson and Minister for Home Affairs Anders Ygeman, both Social Democrats, presented a package for increasing the number of refused asylum seekers who are deported. This would include workplace raids and ID checks without prior suspicion of crime. Ygeman also said the government wants to make it easier for the police to check fingerprints during internal border controls.
According to the current regulations the police must suspect criminal activities before carrying out workplace inspections. The proposed changes would come into effect in 2018, and are supported by the coalition government's Green Party.
"These are proposals we have worked out together because we are in government together. They aim to achieve more efficient deportations," the Green Party migration spokesperson Maria Ferm told news agency TT.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said the workplace raids would also serve as a way of preventing people from being exploited by employers.
"The way we see it now is that it is sufficient for there to be a risk of people being exploited in order to go in and inspect workplaces," Löfven told Swedish Radio News.
"We have regulated immigration and we stand up for the right to seek asylum. You come here and get your case tested, that should be in accordance with the rule of law. But if it comes to a rejection, then of course if we are to keep up an orderly migration policy, the person rejected must return. If not we do not have an orderly migration policy," Löfven said.
The police are currently having difficulties carrying out deportations, the amount of unprocessed deportation cases amounting to nearly 19,000. This is partly due to many asylum seekers having unconfirmed identities, lacking passports, or not being received by their home countries. Another explanation is that many rejected asylum seekers go underground; this year alone more than 12,000 people have disappeared after having had their applications rejected.
The Moderate Party does not back the proposal, however:
"It is completely insufficient. And even worse, the government does not appear to see the gravity of the problem. Their own forecasts show that Sweden could soon have 70,000 people living in this shadow society - that is an average-sized Swedish town," Moderate Party migration spokesperson Johan Forssell told TT.