Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen of Finland, who considers homosexuality to be a sin and wants to tighten immigration laws, said on YLE that she would like to raise the number of quota refugees next year by 300 to 1,050 from 750.
While this is welcome news, especially for the few hundred refugees that will get a new life in our country, one wonders why Räsänen is making such a statement in July, when most Finns are on vacation.
Räsänen has been no friend of migrants never mind refugees. This is the same politician that denies ethnic profiling by the police, has done nothing to loosen costly family reunification requirements, and oversees a ministry that detains asylum seekers who are minors.
Does the announcement by her have to do with the fact that Finland takes in so few refugees to begin with?
While even giving one person asylum is important, the 300 extra quota refugees that Räsänen speaks of is a drop in the bucket, even shameful, considering our country can do much more to help families who are victims of war and persecution.
Read full story (in Finnish) here.
Räsänen states that the rise to 300 more quota refugees has to do with the good reception that municipalities have given to refugees.
Räsänen said she’d prefer quota refugees from Syria.
According to Eurostat, Finland gave asylum to 1,795 people and in fourteenth place when compared with other EU countries. Excluding Iceland, which gave asylum to 15 people, Finland took the least amount of refugees in the Nordic region after Sweden (26,395), Norway (6,770) and Denmark (3,360).
Read full Eurostat statement here.
Between 2003 and 2013, Finland has missed its 750-quota refugee target: 746 in 2013, 734 in 2012; 626 in 2011; 634 in 2010; 727 in 2009; 737 in 2008; 727 in 2007; 676 in 2006; 690 in 2005; and 679 in 2004, according to Finnish Immigration Service (FIS).