When Hungary closed their borders the European establishment looked on with disgust, but now Europe’s most compassionate country — Sweden — is taking action, and the United Nations is worried the trend may spread.
As of today, Sweden requires migrants to present valid identity documents as they pass into the nation, a radical departure from the long-standing policy of welcoming all comers. While this has been welcomed by many in the country, not least the Sweden Democrats who are presently enjoying record and rising support, the news has been received very negatively by the United Nations’ own migratory body, reports TheLocal.se.
Working to campaign on behalf of migrants and to encourage migration worldwide, a spokesman for the UN Refugee Agency said of the policy change: “Unfortunately, it looks as though those wishing to gain asylum to Sweden will have to present valid identification… There is a tremendous strain to be on the run and you can not expect that those who are entitled to asylum will also have the right documents with them from the beginning – it is quite impossible.
“But that’s where we find ourselves now, unfortunately. We look on this with growing concern”.
Tightening of border controls by Sweden, often said to be the softest of soft touches among European nations could see a wave of similar moves across Europe, as hardening attitudes towards migrants become more acceptable to the otherwise reticent media and political elites.
Despite the rhetoric whether the new border checks, which will see travellers on trains and buses have their paperwork checked as they cross the border into Sweden from Germany and Denmark will actually be effective is another matter entirely. Breitbart London reported in November on the last attempt to check migration ingress through the German and Danish borders, an effort that was apparently deliberately hobbled by government policy.
Despite deploying police to the frontiers they were banned from profiling individuals for passport checks, were under-staffed, and in any case continued to admit migrants even if they didn’t have any paperwork at all, as long as they signed asylum papers. According to official figures, on the first full day of checks there were 1,600 asylum applications — no reduction from the same period in the previous week.