The Finnish government’s eighty-point tightening of immigration policy is all politics and saving face, nothing more

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The Finnish government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä announced Tuesday an eighty-point tightening of Finnish immigration policy, according to YLE News.  The new plan by the government means very bad news for asylum seekers and refugees living in Finland. 

Some of the areas where immigration policy will be tightening family reunifications, implement fast-track deportations, grant bare-minimum financial aid to people awaiting decisions on their asylum status, even terminate a refugee’s residence permit if the situation in his or her home country improves considerably.

All these measures reveal one shameful matter about the present government: They want as many asylum seekers as possible to leave the country. This xenophobic attitude has been reinforced by scores of politicians, the police service, public officials and especially the media, which see these people with suspicion and manifest unease.

One may ask why the government of Prime Minister Sipilä, who offered his home to refugees in early September, is now tightening immigration policy even more?

The answer is simple: Their government partner, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, want it this way, especially now after their poll ratings have plummeted. In return for the PS’ support, the government will move ahead with massive cuts in spending that will bite deep into our social welfare state.

Therefore the plan to tighten immigration policy considerably has nothing to do with granting refuge to people fleeing war but but raw barter trade politics. The PS needs a poll booster and the government needs the PS’ support to downsize the social welfare state.

One matter that I never understood is how the government knows that two thirds of the over 30,000 people that have come to Finland won’t get asylum? Do they have a crystal ball or have they decided that they will only grant asylum to just one third?

Why don’t they stop beating around the bush and state that they consider asylum seekers, especially now since the PS are in power, a threat and a pain in the side?

Some may be wondering why Norway is tightening their asylum policy as well? All you have to do is to look which parties are in government. In Norway the Conservative Party (Høyre) and anti-immigration populist Progress Party (FrP) share power in a minority government.

Like the PS in Finland, Danish People’s Party and Sweden Democrats, the FrP want the country to tighten immigration policy, like we’re planning to do now in Finland. 

As long as nationalistic anti-immigration party have power they will make the lives of all migrants and minorities in the Nordic region uncertain.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.