Sweden Expects Rise in Asylum Seeker Numbers This Year

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The Swedish Migration Board has predicted that the number of asylum seekers entering the country will rise this year, with an increase in Syrian and South American migrants.

The projection claims that at least 23,000 asylum seekers are expected to come to Sweden this year, up from the 21,958 who applied for asylum in 2019, with Migration Board planning manager Henrik Holmer labelling the estimate a “fairly marginal increase”.

The Migration Board noted that there has been an increase in migrant traffic in the Balkan region, particularly with more and more migrants entering Greece in recent months, SVT reports.

In December, Greek government commissioner for the initial reception of refugees Manos Logothetis predicted that Greece could see as many as 100,000 migrant arrivals this year, as camps on Greek islands like Lesbos and Samos continue to operate far above capacity.

The Swedish migration board noted that Turkish policies in northern Syria, such as wanting to move a million Syrians back to Syria, could also have an effect on the number of new asylum seekers.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently threatened the European Union over the issue, demanding money to help rehouse Syrians or he would “open the gates” for potentially millions of migrants to head to Europe.

While most of the new arrivals in Sweden are expected to come from countries like Syria and others in the region, the Migration Board said that it also expected a surge in South American asylum seekers from countries like Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru, and Venezuela.

Last year, the European Asylum Support Office revealed that there had been a surge of new asylum seekers from the South American region, with a 4,000 per cent increase over the last decade.

Spain has been by far the most popular choice for most South American asylum seekers, largely due to the common language, but other nations such as Belgium have also begun to recognise more and more asylum seekers from Latin America.

Sweden has also seen a rise in family reunification or chain migration over the last year, with Iraqis and Syrians making up the largest numbers.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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