Ratcheting up suspicion and polarization in Finland against asylum seekers and migrants, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said over the weekend that he favors giving refugees an exam on Finnish values like bodily integrity before getting residence permits, according to Yle.
With parliamentary elections nearing on April 14 and the sexual assault cases of Oulu fresh in people’s minds, Sipilä’s comments are disingenuous and politically motivated. It is part of the government’s plans to tighten further immigration policy and fuel Finland’s hostile environment against migrants and asylum seekers.
He said that Finland’s integration program “has its problems” and “has faced [budget] cuts.”
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Here are a couple of questions to Prime Minister Sipilä:
- Do you believe that one “exam” about Finnish society and bodily integrity will solve the sexual assault problem?
- If you agree, why not give such an entrance exam at schools to Finns?
- What happens if a person fails such an exam? Would you deport such a person back to his or her former country after granting asylum?
- Don’t you think it is wrong, even racist, to paint certain groups with a single brush?
- How do these exams resolve the issue of Islamophobia and social exclusion?
- Where have these types of exams worked in the European Union? Aren’t they usually brought up during election time and by politicians who want to make immigration an issue?
Prime Minister Sipilä heads one of the most – if not the most – anti-immigration governments in modern Finland.