Finland’s ministry of the interior will (alas) launch an independent inquiry of Migri

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Conservative National Coalition Party Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen announced Friday that an independent inquiry of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) will be launched, according to YLE. The minister said, however, that the independent inquiry should not be seen as a lack of trust in Migri’s work, which has had to process some 45,000 residence permit applications. 

Calls for an independent inquiry of Migri, which could be carried out by UNHCR, has the support of opposition parties like the Social Democrats, the Greens, and Swedish People’s Party as well as of NGOs like Amnesty International, Finnish Refugee Council, and the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman. 

Frank Johnson, the director of Finland’s Amnesty International chapter, welcomed the announcement by Mykkänen. He said that the independent inquiry, called for by Amnesty International, Finnish Refugee Council, and the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, was “a good decision.”

Read the original tweet here.

Even if Migri has processed 45,000 residence permits since 2015, when a record 32,477 asylum seekers mostly from Iraq, it does not let them off the hook and permit civil servants to make faulty decisions that impact people’s lives or their deaths in some cases.

Mykkäen said that “there is no evidence that suggests that Migri rejects asylum applications systematically.

Part of the of criticism of Migri is due to their interpretation that countries like Afghanistan, where the security situation has deteriorated, and Iraq are “safe” to deport asylum seekers. 

Some believe that the large amount of rejections of asylum applications by Migri is politically influenced. Since 2015, the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, which split into two factions in June 2017, was invited to form part of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government. This has fuelled a hostile environment for migrants in Finland. 

Prime Minister Sipilä’s government has tightened immigration laws like family reunification as well as other services  entitled previously to asylum seekers. 

* 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.