Asylum-seekers at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport

Asking Immigrants to Live Elsewhere

Councillors in Södertälje, south of Stockholm, have come under fire from the Swedish Migration Board, for plans to urge asylum-seekers to make their home elsewhere in the country.

Between 100 and 150 Iraqis a month arrive in Södertälje, many to live with friends and family who have already moved there.

The flood of asylum-seekers has however stretched housing resources to breaking point, and swamped the local job market. The situation has led the local council to draft a letter encouraging immigrants fleeing war-torn Iraq, to live in other towns and cities.

Councillors had hoped the Migration Board would give the letter to those considering moving to Södertälje. The Board has refused however, saying asylum seekers are free to live wherever they want.

Sweden currently accepts more Iraqi immigrants than any other EU country, with some 7,000 gaining Swedish citizenship in 2006.

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