An interpreter has been suspended from duty by the Swedish Migration Board for remarking that many Arabs lie about their background to boost their chance of getting asylum and higher welfare payments.
An investigation is being launched after a journalist who spoke with the unnamed interpreter reported her “inappropriate” comments to the body which authorises interpreters.
In the Migration Board’s premises in Örebro, the woman reportedly disagreed with the journalist’s disapproval over Sweden’s tightening of its immigration laws.
The interpreter explained that “many” of the Arabs in Sweden lie and exaggerate about the conditions in which they lived in their homelands, and their personal histories, in order to better their chances of securing asylum and welfare bonuses, Dagens Nyheter reported.
She stated that Arabs do not have it as bad in their home countries as they portray, saying that “They can live anywhere, in Syria or any other Arab nation. Nobody forces them to come here.”
The woman has been suspended from her job as an interpreter at the Migration Board and Sweden’s Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency is undertaking an ethical investigation into the case.
Her employer sent an email to Kammarkollegiet, the body which approves interpreters, stating they are taking the allegations seriously. The email noted that the woman has been suspended “until the matter is investigated” and the body has come to a decision with regards to whether she will be allowed to continue working as a translator.
The interpreter herself reportedly has a Christian Iraqi background. Christian migrants to Sweden face threats and persecution from other migrants, most of whom are Muslim, for their religion.
Sweden accepted more migrants per capita last year than any other European nation. In 2014, there were around 80,000 asylum seekers arriving, rising to 163,000 in 2015.
The Swedish government acted to tighten its asylum laws in August as a result of the enormous economic burden migrants place on the country’s finances.
Anders Danielsson said the Swedish Migration Agency, of which he is the director general, needs an additional budget of $8 billion over the next two years, Haaretz reported.