Swedish writer Åsa Linderborg has claimed the Swedish economy would collapse if it was not for illegal migrants who she says are vital to the economy.
Ms. Linderborg, who serves as the cultural editor for Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, wrote an opinion piece on Monday: “Yes, there is a problem with those who are denied their asylum applications and then go underground,” but added: “It’s equally true that Sweden would stop working if the tens of thousands of undocumented migrants who are here vanished for real.”
Linderborg made the argument that illegal migrants do the jobs that Swedes refuse to do saying illegals were the ones who worked low-paying jobs like cleaning and in the service industry.
The piece comes as a reaction to the news the terrorist in the Stockholm attack was a failed asylum seeker set to be deported. Following the attack, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said that Sweden would no longer employ an open door policy for illegal migrants.
Though Linderborg claimed the Swedish economy relies solely on migrants, various reports have shown the opposite is true and that migrants are often the most likely to be unemployed in the country. A report from December 2015 predicted that six out of every 10 unemployed people in Sweden would come from a foreign background by 2017.
In October 2016, the employment numbers for Swedes were so high that some economists considered Swedes to have full employment. People from migrant backgrounds were almost opposite with some 21.6 per cent being unemployed.
Of the 163,000 migrants that Sweden took in during the migrant crisis in late 2015, fewer than 500 had found jobs as of June 2016.
Linderborg claims Sweden is “exploiting” the migrants who do work because many of them are low skilled and are paid low wages. She then called on the prime minister to invest in migrants to improve their job prospects.
The daughter of a former member of the Left Party, Linderborg was also a member of the Left Party and a member of the “Communist Youth” during the 1980s.
Sweden is not the only country to have issues with migrants and unemployment. In Germany, economists have said the idea that migrants will become the skilled workers of tomorrow is an illusion and that mass migration will ultimately hurt economic growth in the long term.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at firstname.lastname@example.org