While no authority has listed the exact number of illegal migrants in Sweden, the head of the Border Police has claimed the number is well above the established 12,000 migrants wanted for staying illegally.
Patrik Engström, head of the border police at the National Operations Department (Noa) stated that border police have no active measures to find migrants who have gone underground and disappeared off the radar of authorities.
“We register those wanted. If tips come in, we follow them up. Otherwise, we work with our regular control work where we find some of them,” he told the Swedish news service TT.
In 2015, Sweden saw 163,000 migrants arrive during the height of the migrant crisis and 47,000 were rejected for residency but the Swedish Migration Board has no idea exactly how many still reside in the country illegally.
Sweden: Thousands of 2015 Crisis Migrants Have Allegedly Disappeared https://t.co/UjtZLZ0le2
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 7, 2020
At least 8,000 are registered with the Migration Board as they have tried to apply for asylum a second time, while 13,000 live without residency permits in various municipalities, and 14,000 are simply missing and unaccounted for.
“The conclusion is that there are likely to be far more people than the 12,000 who are more or less constantly wanted for staying illegally in the country,” Engström said and noted the difficulty Sweden has in getting some countries to take back their nationals.
Many countries refuse to take back their citizens unless the citizens are going back voluntarily. “This means that people who are to be deported to these countries largely decide for themselves whether or not a deportation can be carried out,” Engström said.
He also noted that illegal migrants wanted by police are not only at risk of being victims of crime but also of falling into criminality themselves. “Many people feel that they have very little to lose,” he said.
According to TT, cases against illegal migrants and those without residency permits are dropped after four years whether the individual has left Sweden or not.
Sweden Sees Lowest Population Growth in 15 Years as Pandemic Stalls Mass Migration https://t.co/Jy7tQ6HuqF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 22, 2020
Over the last decade, Sweden has granted 1.2 million residency permits, which has led to one-fifth of the population now being foreign-born and has been the main driver for the country’s recent population growth.
As a result of travel bans and restrictions to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus this year, Sweden has seen its lowest population growth in 15 years.