Finland faces a challenge with the rise of undocumented immigrants

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Finnish society will remain divided on immigration. It is an issue that transcends the traditional left-right paradigm that keeps erupting. Should undocumented immigrants become documented? If so which ones?As a group and at the risk of causing a fuss, should they be offered preferential treatment? Or should they be encouraged with financial incentives to return back to their home countries or forced to leave?

It’s clear that the present state of Finland’s immigration policy is in disarray with our asylum policy being even in worse shape. Both are cynical and costly policies out of step with other countries’ asylum policies and work against the interests of world refugees.

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Since 2016, Finland’s immigration policy was designed to satisfy the special interests of immigration lawyers, private medical companies, private housing companies and other special-interest groups. Sharks in Finland are sucking taxpayers’ money at the cost of non-profit organizations, which have a smaller role. This is clear when looking at the Finnish Immigration Service’s (Migri) decision to close down asylum centers. Private companies are prevailing over non-profit ones. 

A number of stories have been published by Migrant Tales concerning special interests that profit from the refugee situation.

We are now going to face a new problem: undocumented immigrants. Where are these asylum seekers going to go after they’re kicked out of the asylum reception centers that Migri decided to close? Where will these asylum seekers end up in and in which shark’s belly?

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Iraqi asylum seeker in Finland: A journey that began in a tormented land

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Migrant Tales is very happy to receive mail from readers. Below is a story about an Iraqi asylum seeker that lives in Finland. These types of stories are important because they offer a human face to asylum seekers and their lives. 

Here is an Iraqi asylum seeker’s story that began in a tormented land: 

When Iraq collapsed after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government in 2003, I was a boy of nine living in the city of Babil, which is located in central Iraq. When the US invaded my country, people were happy with Hussein’s downfall. They thought the US will bring freedom and democracy to our country. Unfortunately, it was only a dream…

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The author is a young man like many who came to Finland in 2015.

At the age of nine, I was only a child with a simple dream to become an elementary school teacher. I loved to play basketball and I used to practice a lot at the local sports club. I felt that when the US took over my country, all my dreams would come true one day. I thought that I’d play on the Iraqi national basketball team and represent my country at international competitions. I thought that Iraq will be a safe country to live in with freedom. Unfortunately, all I have witnessed is death and killings every day and everywhere.

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Defining white Finnish privilege #31: The Solidiers of Odin and the Finnish media

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The Soldiers of Odin are a vigilante group that hate asylum seekers and are white Finnish supremacists. One Facebook post on their page outlined a while back the aim of the vigilante group: “We are a patriotic group struggling for a white Finland.”

The Soldiers of Odin have omitted such a statement from their Facebook page for obvious reasons since it’s racist.

If we look at their Facebook page today under “about” we don’t find any information about any white supremacist rhetoric. On the contrary. The vigilante group claims today “to protect people, especially women, from criminal immigrants, but also ‘to help everyone regardless of their ethnic background.’”

Whatever the group claims, it is a white Finnish supremacist vigilante group that has changed its racist rhetoric to code.

I highly doubt that there are any visible minorities, never mind asylum seekers, who walk around with them patrolling streets.

Even so, it’s incredible how much fascination the national media continues to have for this vigilante group. We’d be grateful at Migrant Tales if we got a fraction of the media attention that the vigilante group gets.

The interesting question to ask is why a white supremacist group like the Soldiers of Odin gets media attention and why we don’t.

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Luona, Kolari, Villa Meri, Keuruu, Laajakoski asylum reception centers in Finland that are shameful examples

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When asked about how the government reacted to the 32,476 asylum seekers that came to Finland in 2015, the answer is simple: The government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä states that they did a good job in finding shelter for such people. Well, sort of…

Even if many asylum centers, their management, and staff did a good job, it’s clear that many didn’t.

One reason why the government isn’t too excited about talking about those asylum reception centers that have operated poorly is because it would be a political embarrassment. Close to a billion euros have been spent on taking care of asylum seekers. Has the government got what it paid for?

What a bad investment,no? First, you invest hundreds of millions of euros and then you proceed to kick two-thirds of them knowing that our population is aging and that we need labor. But hey, they’re Muslims, right?

Throughout the year, Migrant Tales has exposed a number of reception centers that have done a poor job in serving and helping asylum seekers.

After we started reporting more of these cases from January, the Finnish media started to get interested as well.

But before that, the national media wasn’t very keen at all. When we approached Helsingin Sanomat in January, a reporter turned down our findings because they were similar to what pensioners suffer at rest homes.

Little by little, Helsingin Sanomat started to report more about the abuses that asylum seekers suffered at some reception centers, particularly those run by a private company called Luona.

Some of the complaints from asylum seekers made about reception centers were that they were treated “like livestock” and that it costs money to live in what an asylum seeker called a reception center “hell.” One Iraqi in Helsinki said that the first word he learned in Finnish was vittu, or f**k, because the Luona staff commonly used such a word to address the asylum seekers.

There are many more shameful examples of abuse and unprofessional treatment that have gone unreported in Finland. Even so, we have exposed a number of cases: asylum reception centers run by Luona, which has reception centers in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Hyvinkää; a reception center in Kolari run by the Red Cross where asylum seekers were charged 0.50 euros for a tomato, among other serious issues; Villa Meri (private company Mehiläinen); and Keuruu (Red Cross), where people are not allowed to celebrate religious and cultural holidays.

In our attempt to give asylum seekers a voice, some of our efforts have paid off. One such case was the Kolari asylum reception center where the deputy manager was sacked in May.

Reports of abuses and poor management continue to reach us. The latest one comes from the Laajakoski asylum reception center near Kotka, where the management, among other complaints, allegedly tells asylum seekers to go back to their country if they don’t like it here.

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The Laajakoski reception center is located near Kotka in southeastern Finland. It started operating in January. Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

Migrant Tales has a recording of a manager of the Laajakoski reception center telling an asylum seeker who is crippled to go back to his country because the manager doesn’t want to give him a pillow and blanket.

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Culture is everything learned and privilege is your social passport to a group

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If culture is anything learned, then privilege is your social passport to a certain group. Some of the things written on your social passport as you cross boundaries of privilege are ethnicity, language and your own view of “where you belong.”

Check out some quotes on what is privilege.

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Even if culture is everything learned, what we learn about who we are is complex. However, privilege is pretty straightforward: Either you have it or you don’t. In how many groups does your social passport permit you to enter and be a part of?

 

 

Reija Härkönen: Persun takana on tissivakonainen

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Kun naisen valinta USA:n presidentiksi nyt on tullut estetyksi, ei voi olla miettimättä naisvihaa, joka myös meillä aika voimakkaasti leimaa konservatiivisia, äärioikeistolaisia ja rasistisia piirejä.

Perussuomalainen sovinisti, Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, tokaisi joskus Suomen Kuvalehden haastattelussa: “Jos miehillä on munat, meillä on koko sarja” korostaakseen naisten pätevyyttä poliittisessa elämässä. Hän oli kuitenkin sitä mieltä, että Suomen naisissa on jotakin vialla, he näyttävät miehiltä ja yrittävät olla miesten kanssa tasa-arvoisia. Tasa-arvoinen ei saa olla, vaan pitää olla ylpeä siitä, että on tissiä ja makkaraa.

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Slunga-Poutsalo Suomen Kuvalehden haastattelussa

Timo Soini taas syytteli aikanaan Suomen naisia moraalittomiksi olennoiksi, jotka eivät kelpuuta duunarimiestä ja muutenkin vaihtelunhalussaan siirtyvät jampasta toiseen. Vaihtelunhalu on luonnollisesti miehinen ominaisuus, en ainakaan ole kuullut, että Soini olisi Trumpia moittinut jo kolmannen missin naimisesta.

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US president-elect Trump’s racism and insults towards minorities ensure that he’ll fail as the so-called leader of the “free world”

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One of the things about racists and bigots is that they underestimate those that they insult and/or oppress. US President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign, and his latest announcement that he will deport 3 million undocumented “criminal” migrants is a good example of how the president-elect belittles. 

Trump said in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes: “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate.”

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Trump is a menace to Mexicans, Hispanics and visible migrants in the United States. Read 60-minute interview here.

Apart from one of the most basic premises of our legal system, that a person is innocent before proven guilty, Trump continues to spearhead an ethnic witch hunt against Mexicans and Hispanics.

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Reija Härkönen: Terhi Kiemunkia ei voi erottaa

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Miksi Terhi Kiemunki pitäisi erottaa? On totta, että hän käyttäytyy rasistisesti ja oli jopa niin röyhkeä, että teki itsestään tutkintapyynnön osoittaakseen, että väitteet hänen rasistisuudestaan ovat vain poliittisten vastustajien solvausyritys. Syytteen hän sitten sai, vaikka luotti poliisin tukeen asiassaan.

Kuljetusten järjestäminen ääriryhmien Rajat kiinni –mielenosoituksiin on ollut yksi toimi, jolla Kiemunki on osoittanut uskollisuuttaan ”maahanmuuttokriittiselle” liikkeelle. Sen hän on tehnyt Tampereen perussuomalaisten puheenjohtajan ominaisuudessa, joten siihenkään ei kansalla ole mitään sanomista. Perussuomalaisten poliittisen toiminnan ydin on maahanmuuttajavastaisuus ja ihmisten kiihottaminen vihaamaan etenkin tummaihoisia ja islaminuskoisia maahanmuuttajia. Luonnollisesti siihen pitää saada käyttää myös puolueen varoja ja valittujen toimihenkilöiden työaikaa. Moni kansanedustajakin on osoittanut varauksettoman tukensa vastaanottokeskusten pihoilla järjestettävälle pakolaisten häirinnälle.

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Terhi Kiemunki Rajat kiinni -mielenosoituksessa. Kuva: MTV

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