The collective outrage that we saw on Monday when an Afghan family was deported from Finland to their country reveals why the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) is not “a service” but more of a disservice to too many migrants and asylum seekers.
From the cantankerous days of Eila Kännö, when she watched over the handful migrants that lived in Finland as head of the Aliens’ Office, the same force motivates Migri now like then: Migration and cultural diversity are treated as a threat to Finland.
Like in the days of Kännö to the present, we can make up any argument to justify our institutional suspicion of migrants and of cultural diversity. Such policies can put people in harm’s way. Migri’s assessment that Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia are “safe” is a shameful example.
Likewise Kännö, justified her hardline anti-immigration policies by claiming they were necessary to keep criminals from coming here.
A very good Migration Matters video on why deportations don’t work as a deterrent.
According to Nasima Majidi of Migration Matters, deportations are an ineffective deterrent. Three our of four forced returnees from the UK return to the country that deported them.
Since 2011, Finland has deported around 20,000 people.
There are three scenarios that unfold with deportation:
- People are deported to the wrong country. In the case of Afghan and Somali nationals, their passport may state that they are from these countries but their home may be elsewhere. Many live in Iran, Ethiopia and Kenya, which are their country of asylum.
- Threat of kidnapping. Many deported people are seen by their citizens as belonging to a political elite that has money. This makes them targets of kidnappings.
There are many other factors that Majidi points out like the psychological trauma of being deported. Some of these include shame and being ostracized by your countrymen and women for returning and being “too European.”
It’s understandable that a hostile entity like Migri to many asylum seekers and migrants that they’d never tell you about how ineffective deportations are.
And they are not only ineffective but put real people, men, women and children, in harm’s way.