Finland’s government to tighten again immigration and asylum policy

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The desperation of New Alternative* or Blue Reform (BR) party, the faction that split from the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in June to keep their jobs as ministers, must be overbearing. BR Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sports Sampo Terho announced Thursday that the government plans to tighten immigration and asylum policy laws in the face of the Turku attack, according to YLE News

Interior Minister Paula Risikko, as well as other government officials, announced after Turku plans to tighten immigration policy and give greater surveillance powers to the police and the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO).

Just like the good old days when the PS was one party before it imploded on June 13, BR’s Minister Terho is the one giving statements about tougher immigration policy.

Apart from making it a crime to help undocumented migrants, Terho said that the nationality would see modifications so that suspected terrorists who are dual nationals can have their Finnish citizenship revoked.

While these points are nothing new since they have the clear stamp of PS Chairman Jussi Halla-aho, it is sad to watch how short-sighted and opportunistic the government is and how it wants to punish the migrant and minority community. No matter how much they tighten immigration and asylum policy, it will never make Finland safe from terrorism.

Nour Gamal, a #righttolife activist, told Migrant Tales by phone that government aims to tighten immigration and asylum policy is part of a long-range plan to make life as miserable as possible for asylum seekers in Finland.

Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sports Sampo Terho is as much an Islamophobe as Jussi Halla-aho.

“They [the government] are not only making life difficult for asylum seekers but for Finns that want to help undocumented migrants as well,” he said. “It’s a systematic plan to make the lives of asylum seekers as miserable as possible, so they’ll leave the country and so that no new refugees will come here.”

Gamal said that the parliamentary elections in 2019 are the only hope left to asylum seekers.

While not mentioned, plans to change the nationality act may also have dire consequences for dual citizen rights in Finland.

As long as BR remains in government the worse matters will get for migrants and minorities in this country.

* After the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity.  One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic. 

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.