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Morgan Johansson is the minister with responsibility for migration. Photo: TT Montage: Sveriges radio
Morgan Johansson is the minister with responsibility for migration. Photo: TT Montage: Sveriges radio

Government presents migration restrictions

Red Cross: "We are deeply concerned"
3:46 min

Following an announcement made in November, the government has now proposed its draft law aimed at to limit the number of people moving to Sweden.

The government wants a temporary law that would allow Sweden to abide by the EU's minimum asylum requirements.

Even though the number of asylum seekers has dropped dramatically since its peak in the fall of 2015, Morgan Johansson (Social Democrat), the minister for justice and migration issues, tells Swedish Radio News that limitations are needed "in order to prevent us from winding up in the same situation again."

All but a tiny proportion of refugees would be granted temporary, rather than permanent, residence permits.

UNHCR quota refugees, of which Sweden generally receives between 1,200 and 1,900 yearly, would still be entitled to permanent residency.

The opportunity for asylum seekers to bring family members over to Sweden would be limited.

People wanting to bring family members to Sweden will also have to show they can support them.

But for those granted refugee status, or who applied before November 24th, 2015, there will be a greater chance of bringing over family members. Initially, the government had said the only exceptions would be for unaccompanied minors and families with children.

"You've come to Sweden in the faith that it is these rules that shall apply," says minister Johansson.

The Swedish Red Cross's secretary general Ulrika Årehed Kågström is critical of the proposal for stricter rules. "We are deeply worried about this development, because it means that it can take several years for people who have fled to Sweden and sought protection to be able to be reunited with their spouse or children. In some cases, it can be almost impossible."

The government's proposal now undergoes a round of consultation with the authorities that would be affected by it, and will also be scritinised by the legal council.

The government has suggested that the new law apply for three years, begininng on May 31st.

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