Farrah and her three-year-old child: Don’t deport us back to Iraq from Finland!

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Farrah* is an Iraqi woman who came to Finland in September 2015 with her then one-year-old child. She left Turkey in the hope that she’d get a residence permit and would be able to bring her husband and two children in Turkey, aged 10 and 12.

“They [Finnish Immigration Service] didn’t renew my [one-year] residence permit which expired on January 17,” she said sounding as if out of breath on the phone. “I haven’t seen my family for [almost] two years.”

Since it is no longer possible to give residence permits to people like Farrah and her three-year-old child for humanitarian reasons, they face a bleak prospect: deportation from Finland.

A picture posted on Farrah’s Facebook page.

Farrah and her child are perfect examples of how Finland’s harsh immigration policy rubs salt on people’s lives. Before April, residence permits were granted for humanitarian reasons but that was scrapped in vote that MPs of the ruling parties [Perussuomalaiset (1), National Coalition Party and Center Party] and opposition Social Democrats and Christian Democrats approved.

Even if Farrah would have been able to get her residence permit renewed, there is no way she could bring her family in Turkey because of tighter family reunification guidelines.

“I came to Finland [almost] on foot from Greece believing that this was a humanitarian country that gives residence permits [asylum] to mothers and their children,” she continued, adding that she is today “very confused” and worried because she didn’t know what is going to happen to her.

“I cannot return back to Iraq,” she continued. “We have been waiting in Turkey to get in the UN refugee scheme and the first interview is scheduled for 2022.”

Farrah says that her child cries all the time and suffers because he hasn’t seen her father, brother and sister.

“The situation isn’t normal,” she said.

* The name of the person has been changed. 

[1] The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”