YLE: Immigration policy to focus on security

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: Ever wonder what the Christian Democrats are doing in government and why its chairwoman, Päivi Räsänen, was appointed interior minister in charge of immigration affairs? The answer is simple: She is a conservative who can eat away at some of the anti-immigration thunder of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party. 

Contrary to the former minister of migration and European affairs, Astrid Thors, Räsänen will not be an easy target to shoot at for the PS.

Am I hopeful that matters for immigrants and refugees will improve under Räsänen and this government? I doubt it. 

I was, however, a bit worried about the  following quote by her in the story:  “Immigration policy will respect basic human rights, but the other thread running through policy will be security and sustainability in society. How many immigrants we can integrate into society.”

Those who know Räsänen’s views on refugees cannot forget when she said earlier this year that Finland should take Christian quota refugees as opposed to non-Christians. 

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Immigration policy is to shift emphasis towards safeguarding security in society, says new Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen. She told YLE radio that immigration policy would now shift to officials in charge of policing.

Read whole story.

  1. JusticeDemon

    No doubt we shall eventually see what this grand political pronouncement means in practice, but any attempt to revive the system of the late 1970s is futile. Immigration is a branch of civil administration that is governed by the principles of administrative law and incorporates the associated safeguards against abuse of public power. The requirements of objectivity, proportionality and conformity to purpose are taken much more seriously now.

  2. Jonas

    I agree with you Enrique on why she was placed in the government. I think it is a massive demonstration of political weakness on the part of the other government parties, perhaps most especially the two big players, Kokoomus and SDP. Once again instead of taking the argument to the True Finns of why we need immigration, they offer no leadership and instead run scared of losing votes to anti-immigration populists. As you say, for this reason they have offered the Christian Democrats and specifically Räsänen this portfolio – a shield.

    I only hope she is somewhat moderated by the fact that integration matters are actually in the realm of Labour Minister Lauri Ihalainen (SDP). Although, elements within the SDP (including Urpilainen) have pandered heavily to populism on immigration in the past, so I am not overly hopeful. It is sad to see Thors go as a minister (although as an aside, I think Anna-Maja Henriksson deserved a chance in a ministerial post, she’s been very good in her chairing of Folktinget… and there were strong internal pressures within SFP/RKP to have someone from Österbotten/Pohjanmaa also as a minister alongside Wallin, who is from Åboland – i.e. along with Nyland/Uusimaa counts as “the south” for people from the Swedish-speaking west coast).

    • Enrique

      Seppo, you put it very well. You are a good example that make people have hope for this country. I hope your example will catch on.

  3. Allan

    Try surstromming for a change.

    I do expect Rasanen was placed in the position to receive the flak for some very unpopular decisions that the government will be having to take. The budget cuts in policing, health services and the 112 switchboards fiasco for example will directly effect the gut feeling people have. When it is of “no use” to call the police as the nearest patrol is somewhere far away and gets hours to respond, when the ambulance won’t come and old people die onto their doorsteps you do not feel “secure”. And it is the minister who gets the flak.

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