Stockholm Wises Up on Immigration While Washington Plays Dumb



In the wake of Europe’s 2015 migrant crisis, liberal leaders in Sweden have moved away from their Democratic Party comrades in the U.S. Ruling Social Democrats in Stockholm declared recently, “All major parties [in Sweden]today stand for a restrictive migration policy with a strong focus on law and order.” 

At their peak, Sweden’s migration flows were less than America’s in raw numbers, but the country’s asylum applications were second only to Hungary in the European Union (EU), per 100,000 population. Today, Sweden’s 2 million-plus refugees and migrants – along with rising crime and socioeconomic dysfunction — have the global bastion of progressivism rethinking the cost-benefits of mass immigration.

Sweden has gone from having one of the lowest to one of the highest levels of gun violence in Europe. Gangs of second-generation immigrants from Somalia, Eritrea, Morocco and elsewhere in North Africa specialize in drug trafficking and the use of explosives, according to reports.

A 2020 book, “Mass Challenge: The Socioeconomic Impact of Migration to a Scandinavian Welfare State,” relates that immigrants to Sweden account for 53 percent of individuals with long prison sentences and 90 percent of suspects in public shootings. Meanwhile, the foreign-born represent 58 percent of the unemployed, and consume 65 percent of social welfare expenditures.

In June 2016, Sweden revised longstanding policies to deny refugees permanent asylum; instead they get only temporary permits. Last year, the country accepted just 13,000 refugees, the lowest total in 30 years

The EU has taken note as it supports Poland turning back waves of Third World migrants sent by neighboring Belarus. No one has suggested accepting their claims of persecution because doing so would encourage tens of thousands more to come.

To reduce immigration fraud, the EU set up an asylum processing center in Rwanda, with additional facilities being considered in Tunisia, Ethiopia, Egypt and Eritrea. Hungary, Denmark and other European countries say that asylum applicants can only file their claims from abroad. Illegal entry results in immediate expulsion.

Kristof Gyorgy Verus, with the Migration Research Institute in Budapest, asserts that the U.S. is in a better position than Europe to manage migrant flows with the Remain in Mexico policy and properly applied enforcement tools. But while Sweden and the European continent jettison lax immigration policies, President Joe Biden heads in the opposite direction. Dithering on the southern border, he didn’t even discuss the ongoing immigration crisis when Mexico’s president came to visit last week.

“It’s strange,” Verus says of Washington’s current course. “You have all the solutions, you just need to implement them. For that you need political will.” And not the willfully destructive politics of the open-borders crowd.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

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