Like Trump, like Halla-aho

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The closing of US borders to Latin American asylum seekers, detaining minors, vilifying Latin Americans and Muslims, emboldening white supremacy and relegating and maintaining migrants and minorities as second-class members of society are some of the things that we have seen and read about President Donald Trump’s presidency.

One will find many similarities if we look at Trump’s immigration policy and that of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party’s. The overriding force that unites both of them is the fear of people of color and that whites will become a minority in their countries.

Donald Trump and Jussi Halla-aho. Source: The Atlantic and Vantaan Sanomat.

If PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho would be prime minister and could rule like Trump, he too would not hesitate to enforce travel bans on Muslims, tighter naturalization laws, and fuel the hostile environment to new heights.

Halla-aho would water down or scrap Section 6 of the Constitution that guarantees that everyone, irrespective of their background, is equal before the law. If enforcement of non-discrimination laws in Finland are weak, they would not exist under Halla-aho.

Just like Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, wants to change the famous words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty that welcomes immigrants, Halla-aho would be ready to scrap our non-discrimination laws.

Our Nordic welfare social justice values and laws would only apply to white Finns.

Cuccinelli was quoted as saying in NPR that the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty could be rewritten to state, “Give me your tired and your poor — who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

Just like Trump has declared open warfare against migrants and minorities in the United States, the same is happening with the PS in Finland. The latest attack is by PS vice-president Riikka Purra, who believes that Finland will look like Mexico City in 2100.

“If people come to Finland from faraway lands and cultures,” said Purra recently, “[these] people don’t change and become Finns. Certainly, some changes could occur, and we help migrants to integrate with programs, but it doesn’t work that well.”

The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. 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.