Coronavirus: Sweden May Release Illegal Migrants Set For Deportation


Swedish authorities may release illegal migrants set for deportation as flights have been suspended around the world due to the Chinese coronavirus.

Swedish authorities are facing a real problem with migrants set for deportations due to the fact that borders around the globe have not only been closed and policies which limit the amount of time migrants can be held in detention.

Ulrica Granberg, the head of the Border Police in the district of Bergslagen, has sounded the alarm, saying that detention centres are packed with migrants awaiting deportation but many will have to be released, Sveriges Radio reports.

According to Granberg, at least four people have been released since borders closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sweden will likely be faced with the real possibility many of the freed migrants will go into hiding, a fact Granberg admitted, saying: “There is probably an imminent risk, yes.”



Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Sweden still had major issues with facilitating deportations of illegal migrants and failed asylum seekers with a report from the Migration Studies Delegation (Delmi) in early February stating the government had made deportations a low priority.

“Within both the Police and the Swedish Migration Board, the two authorities that are going to execute cases, the deportation issues are regarded as an ‘odd activity’, not really in line with the core mission, or what the staff would prefer to do,” the report said.

Swedish Migration Board Director-General Mikael Ribbenvik went even further, saying the current Swedish asylum rules allow potential terrorists and war criminals to remain in Sweden even if they fail their asylum claims.

“Today we have a regulatory framework which means that in many cases they can stay in Sweden on roughly the same conditions as others and, in addition, move freely in and out of the country,” he said.

Swedish Left Party MP Daniel Riazat even recommended the public hide migrants up for deportation from the police, saying: “My message to all who can: Hide a refugee. If it becomes illegal. Hide two! It’s called Civil Courage and Humanity!”

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


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