After scrapping border identification checks for people coming from Denmark into Sweden, the Swedish government has noted a large increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving in the country.
Last Thursday, the Swedish government removed border checks for travellers entering the country by rail, sea, and bus. The policy, which was enacted during the height of the migrant crisis in January 2016, was meant to stop asylum seekers illegally entering the country.
Now, the government says migrants are returning in large numbers, Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio reports.
In the Swedish province of Scania, where there are still border controls, officials have claimed attempted entry by asylum seekers is on the rise. Earlier this year, border guards saw around five asylum seekers per week, but since the scrapping of the ID rules, the number has increased to 24 people since Thursday.
Michael Mattsson, head of border police in the South region said: “It’s about people we have discovered. At night we found nine people.”
“I think this is just the beginning of what may come. First, the message that identification checks are gone will break through before we will see a great effect in Sweden,” he added.
Over the weekend, 88 people were rejected at the border, a number that was previously between 40 and 100 per week.
During the migrant crisis in 2015, Sweden took in almost 150,000 asylum seekers before imposing border controls in early 2016. As a result of their open borders policies, the country has had a string of high-profile crimes relating to asylum seekers.
In early 2016, a worker at an asylum home named Alexandra Mezher was murdered by a Somalian who claimed to be underage but was later found out to be an adult.
Many sexual assaults at open air music festivals over the summer of 2016 were also linked to migrants and asylum homes themselves have often been rife with sexual abuse. Often the sexual abuse has involved underage girls and boys.
The most notorious, and most destructive, incident occurred in Stockholm when a failed asylum seeker from Uzbekistan stole a lorry and drove it into a pedestrian area killing four people including a young girl.
The effect of mass migration and the attack in Stockholm have led to a surge in popularity for the anti-mass migration Sweden Democrats who are now the largest party in the country and look to make massive gains in the next Swedish election in 2018.
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