Sweden: Less Than Half of Failed Asylum Seekers Left Voluntarily

Refugee's arrive to Stockholm central mosque on October 15, 2015 after many hours bus journey from the southern city of Malmo. Since September, Islamic Relief Sweden welcomes newly arrived refugees at the Stockholm central mosque for one or two nights before they seek asylum in Sweden or travel further to …
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

Less than half of the migrants whose asylum requests were rejected by Swedish authorities have left the country of their own will.

Of the 47,172 rejected asylum seekers who arrived during the 2015 migrant crisis, only 22,658 have left Sweden willingly, according to a report by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Deportation cases that are over five years old are removed from the police list, thereby artificially keeping the statistics low. Police in Sweden, therefore, cannot judge exactly how many people are living in Sweden without a permit, only that the number is growing every year, according to Sweden’s Chief of Border Police Patrik Engström.

One of the main issues concerning deportations from Sweden are countries that refuse to allow the return of migrants. For example, Iraq, Iran, Eritrea, and Somalia are all refusing the repatriation of migrants who are living in Sweden. There are currently 2,600 deportation cases that cannot be completed because Iraq is unwilling to accept them.

Engström said: “The police are trying to obtain a functioning return system with several countries, but have had no great success.”

However, he went on to say: “A few years ago, people could not be deported to Ethiopia, but now we have a well-functioning exchange of government, the same applies to Afghanistan.”

Sweden has been struggling to deal with the number of migrants since the crisis of 2015. One of the main drivers of the issue is economics; around 90 per cent of the migrants who have gained permanent residency in the country remain unemployed.

The rise in crime in Sweden has been staggering. There has been a 100 per cent increase in fatal shootings since 2012, and the number of sex crimes has tripled since 2014. So far this year, bombings and explosions are up 45 per cent from 2018.

Last year, failed asylum seeker Rakhmat Akilov was given a life sentence for intentionally driving his truck into pedestrians in Stockholm, leaving five people dead.

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