The Right to Live (Lupa elää) citizen’s initiative passed through the 50,000 signatures barrier Friday. If passed by parliament, the initiative will grant four-year residence permits to undocumented migrants who came to Finland before January 1, 2017.
The ministry of interior published 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.
States the Right to Live: “An unprecedented number of asylum seekers arrived in Finland during the years 2015 and 2016. Many went through asylum processes that were hurried and of poor quality. More than 5 years later, some of them are in a legal limbo and are still waiting for a residence permit, while some are waiting for the first non-appealable decision to their asylum applications.”
The proposal, made by the Green League, to grant a residence permit to undocumented migrants has received opposition from government parties like the Social Democrats (SDP) and Center Party.
Migrant Tales has published several stories about the lives of undocumented migrants in Finland. Here is Amir’s story.
Some of the most vocal government objectors to the proposal are SDP MP Eveliina Heinäluoma and Mikko Kärnä of the Center Party, both parliament’s administrative committee members.
Ever wonder why the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party gets so excited about so-called failed immigration and riots in Sweden? Is it because there isn’t enough news in Finland to spike and spread their Islamophobic message and perpetuate their deceptive claims?
The PS is a case in point to study how fake news about migrants is planted and watered in Finland. You only need two things: fake claims and silent media.
A lot of fake news about migrants is perpetuated by the PS. One of these is that Finland is “on the path of Sweden” when it comes to brown migrants.
Some of the toxic assumptions that such a claim makes are that certain groups of migrants, namely Muslims and people of color, are prone to violence and anti-social behavior because of their cultural background.
Such claims or news stories dig deeper into why there is social unrest in Sweden and its causes. Ever heard of institutional racism? Discrimination? Lack of social mobility?
Placing the blame on migrants and minorities won’t solve matters but perpetuate the problem.
Apart from the lack of news in Finland and crystal ball predictions about our cultural diversity in Finland, why do the PS rarely state that they are targeting Muslims, people of color or brown and black people?
Considering that 17% of Helsinki’s population speaks another mother tongue other than Finnish, Swedish, and Saami, it is surprising how slowly the newsroom of Finland’s biggest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, is still so white.
Why does the media not challenge fake news about migrants?
Is it because the media is part of Finland’s racism problem?
Deep in the forests of Savo, darkness is not always darkness but a state of mind that has learned to remain an image. In such places, time comes and goes but never leaves; its magic maintains you balanced like a trapeze artist without falling thanks to heart-filled joyous moments of memories once a time ago when you were part of the scenery…
The riots in Sweden sparked by the burning of the Koran by the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party led by Rasmus Palaudan remind us how urgently we need solutions, not provocations, to heal the wounds gashed by racism and double standards. Provocations do nothing more than expose our hypocrisy and privilege. They never offer solutions on the way to move forward.
Be it by the Palaudan and other far-right political groups like the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* it is always the same script: provoke, provoke but never give solutions. While Palaudan has threatened a “final solution” to Muslims and expelling all of them from Denmark, the PS has only given cheap racist soundbites.
Palaudan loves attention, and he gets it from the media and, unfortunately, from some Muslims and others. He is not a champion of free speech by burning the Koran but an example of white privilege disguised as free speech.
In the last election in Denmark, his party got 1.8% of the votes, which is below the 2% threshold for an MP to be elected.
The PS is so full of bravado that they fear mentioning the term “Muslim” in their hate soundbites but instead speak in code. Asylum seekers and immigration policy are their code words for Muslims.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports: “Police said up to 100 mostly young people threw stones, set cars, tires and dustbins on fire, and put up a barrier fence in the town of Landskrona after authorities moved a demonstration scheduled there by Danish party Stram Kurs to the nearby city of Malmö, about 45km (27 miles) to the south.”
Forgetting the crucial role migrants have played in building Sweden’s economy after World War 2, PS leader Riikka Purra parrots her usual far-right talking points about events in Sweden.
This year has been disastrous for the populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* for several reasons. The first hiccup came in last year’s municipal election, when the party, guided by promising opinion polls, expected to win but came in fourth place. Then came an even worse wreck: the county election in January, when its support dove to 11%.
Despite these setbacks, the biggest one yet was going to land in chairperson Riikka Purra’s footsteps: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
With Putin’s invasion, populist parties in Europe – including the PS – suffered a massive blow since It was a wake-up call about what dangers and limits of populism.
While populists like the PS cannot enjoy the same dictatorial powers that Putin has, people in the West fear that democracy is in danger. Populist parties can pave the way for an autocratic regime, wars, destruction, and the tragic loss of lives that such calamities bring.
In one of the most powerful editorials ever written about the PS by Helsingin Sanomat, it cited MEPs like Laura Huhtasaari and why the PS are members of the far-right bloc Identity and Democracy (ID) that is the most pro-Putin in the EU?
The editorial suggested that MEPs like Huhtasaari in the ID group were “useful idiots” and since the war was not going to plan for Putin, populist politicians were rats abandoning a sinking ship.
Another sign that populists like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán are losing support due to his close ties to Putin, was the cancellation of a meeting of the Visegrad Four defense ministers in Budapest on Wednesday. The Czech and Polish defense ministers refused to take part in the meeting due to Orban’s close relationship with Russia, according to Radio Prague International.
The latest example of the PS having lost its way was an announcement by Purra flip-flopped on NATO membership.
Think about it. Finland’s far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has had a total change of heart about refugees, which it has attacked and fed its popularity. Not only the PS, but other parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), Center Party, and a “taxi party” Liike Nyt, according to Yle.
A taxi party is one where all of its MPs can fit inside a taxi.
PS chairperson Riikka Purra, who scapegoats refugees with gusto, alleges that Ukrainian “women and children” should get help in Finland.
“There is a war in Europe pretty close to Finland,” she said. “It’s pretty clear that Finland should help mothers and children.”
Center Party head Annika Saarikko used the same argument with code words for white refugees such as women and children. Petteri Orpo, whose party has been hostile to Muslims, stated that we should help Ukrainians because “their integration will be much easier” because they have professions and speak languages.
Our favorable treatment of Ukrainians contrasts with our anti-Muslim racism.
Let’s take the argument that we should help “women and children,.” Politicians who use this argument are bashing with another arm refugees from the Middle East and Africa.
With such thinking, men cannot apply for asylum even if they are fleeing war.
Comments about the Yle television series on far-right young women, Suomineidot (Finnish Maidens), went viral, and for a good reason. Apart from revealing how much in the dark Yle is about racism and the far right, it also exposes white privilege in Finland.
In a nutshell, the series is about three young women:
Meri Kartta is a far-right ethnonationalist who hangs out with neo-Nazis.