Nearly one thousand migrants who have not found Europe to be quite as nice as they hoped have applied for government funding to go home again through a voluntary repatriation scheme.
The Norwegian government offers voluntary repatriation to unwanted migrants who have changed their mind about moving to the West, which can be worth free plane tickets for the migrant’s family and $9,300 to help them start a new life in their own home nation. Now the number of migrants applying for voluntary repatriation assistance has more than doubled, with 230 families seeking the grant last month.
This is up from just 100 a month earlier in the year, making some 900 who have applied in 2015 — a figure that is rapidly ascending.
Lies spread about excellent conditions for asylum seekers in European countries by people traffickers are often a significant pull factor for illegal migrants deciding to leave their homes. The sheer volume of migrants that have come to Europe this year has also degraded conditions they can expect to enjoy, as limited resources and welcome wears thin.
Just twelve months ago many European nations were offering comfortable homes for migrant families travelling from the east and Africa, but now thousands are expected to spend the winter in tent cities across the continent.
Traffickers have also purposefully misled migrants over their legal entitlements to benefits and rights in Europe, so keen are the criminals to pocket the smuggling fees that can easily exceed $10,000 per migrants. Blaming this misunderstanding on the disappointment many migrants feel when they actually arrive in Europe, the head of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s returns unit said:
“They thought that when they came to Norway they would get protection rather quickly. And that they would have the opportunity to work or take an education – and maybe even to get their family to Norway”. This was not the case, reports TheLocal.no.
Although the relocation costs can be significant, the price of air tickets and a grant represent a significant saving over the lifetime costs for the state to support migrants and their offspring. The idea of paying migrants to leave is not unusual — it was official Conservative party policy during the 1970 general election to give “assistance” to Commonwealth citizens who wanted to permanently return home.
There is also a comparable scheme active in neighbouring Scandinavian state Sweden, although it is at present unadvertised and little used. Speaking to Breitbart London this year Sweden Democrat member of parliament Kent Ekeroth said voluntary repatriations should be expanded for the sake of the future of Sweden. He said:
“Sweden should increase the money people receive for returning to their own countries. And I mean to increase it a lot – at the moment it is hardly used. In my opinion, we should pay people thousands to go home. It’s cheaper for the Swedish taxpayer that way, and it is better for Sweden long term so we can live in a society in which we feel at home. It is worth it economically and socially”.
As well as helping foreigners to go home, Norway is also attempting to address the misunderstandings that lead them to migrate in the first place. Taking out large newspaper advertisements in Afghanistan, the Norwegian government has launched a public information campaign to correct the misinformation spread by human traffickers.
Headed as ‘Stricter immigration regulations in Norway – important information!’ the adverts link back to a Norwegian Government Facebook page with stories about failed migrants being deported, and facts about limited reunification and conditions for migrants in the country.
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