If Finland believes in its laws, it must give residence permits to undocumented migrants

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The ministry of interior published on Thursday its recommendations on what to do with some 3,000 undocumented migrants who came to Finland in 2015-2016. Of this group, about 300 are children living in legal limbo thanks to a 2016 law that abolished granting residence permits on humanitarian grounds.

Source: Ministry of the Interior

The number of undocumented migrants rose from a few hundred to a few thousand thanks to the 2016 law.

Before the passing of the law during Prime Minister Juho Sipilä’s government, asylum seekers who could not be sent to their country because of human rights violations were given temporary residence permits.

Some MPs who voted in favor of the law, which has created so much suffering for undocumented migrants, were Nasima Razmyar, the deputy mayor of Helsinki. Apart from the Center Party, National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, opposition parties like the Christian Democrats and most of the Social Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

One of the Social Democrat MPs who voted for the bill was Nasima Razmyar, a former Afghan asylum seeker.

Certainly, we’ll hear a lot of whining from the PS and Kokoomus MPs like Wille Rydman demanding that Finland should just give these vulnerable migrants, who are potential victims of exploitation and human trafficking, a kick in the behind back to their respective countries.

Sending people back to Afghanistan under Taliban rule isn’t a good option, and Iraq has said it will not accept asylum seekers unless they are convicted of a crime.

In an editorial Saturday, Helsingin Sanomat asked an important question: “Those who state that the [ministry of interior’s] recommendations [to grant residence permits] aren’t valid should now present their solutions.”

So what are the options Riikka Purra, Sari Essayah, Rydman, and Petteri Orpo, who was interior minister in 2016?

They have none because the only answer they can come up with is silent loathing.

Let’s get real and stop being such hypocrites and grant alas temporary residence permits to Finland’s undocumented migrants.

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