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Sweden to Crackdown on Irregular Migrants

It could soon be mandatory to report the irregular stay of migrants in Sweden, according to a proposal being prepared by the Swedish coalition and its far-right ally, which also plans to tighten internal immigration controls with random checks and DNA tests.

At a press conference on Thursday, Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard, together with representatives of her coalition partners and the far-right Sweden Democrats, which support the government, announced their intention to crack down on the thousands of irregular migrants currently on Swedish territory.

“The proposal for mandatory reporting of illegals in the public sector can counteract the shadow society,” she announced from the get-go.

According to her, 100,000 people may be staying in Sweden illegally today. However, the figure has not been confirmed by another source.

An ongoing investigation is now tasked with reviewing whether Swedish municipalities and authorities should be obliged to inform the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) and the police when they come into contact with people who are staying in Sweden without authorisation.

“It is necessary that authorities in Sweden co-operate to improve return,” said Stenergard.

At the same time, it is unclear what the effect of a reporting obligation would be. Many people in an irregular situation in Sweden come from countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, which generally do not accept citizens who do not return voluntarily.

The investigators will also look into the consequences of not complying with the obligation to notify or inform. Exceptions to this may be made, for example, in the healthcare sector, according to Stenergard.

However, it is once again unclear whether schools should also be exempted, and the question has caused a fierce dispute between the Liberal Party and the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD).

The investigator will also review the legal framework to give the authorities more tools to prevent unauthorised stays in Sweden.

At present, various requirements can lead to immigration checks not being carried out. For example, it is currently not possible to carry out random checks in Sweden, though the government said it is looking into reviewing this rule.

“It could be an effective tool in this context,” declared Ludvig Aspling, SD’s migration spokesperson.

The age limit for fingerprinting for internal immigration checks will also be lowered from the current 14 years, and the Migration Agency will be given greater powers to use biometrics, including facial recognition and fingerprints.

“It may involve fingerprints and photographs being taken and stored in more cases and for a longer period of time,” said Christian Carlsson, migration spokesperson for the Christian Democrats.

The inquiry will also examine whether it should be possible to use DNA analysis in internal immigration controls and in residence permit cases. It will also examine whether the limitation period for deportation decisions, which is currently four years, should be abolished or extended. Return bans will also be examined.

An interim report will be presented in January, and the final report in September next year.


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