The new Finnish government’s immigration policy is a farce that will scare away new immigrants

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One of the first reactions that some had concerning the immigration policy of the new government was that it wasn’t as bad as some expected. Others even went as far as to say that Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini caved in and showed again his true political turncoat colors.

The question we should be asking in my opinion is if there is anything in the next government’s stand on immigration that will help clear away the adverse anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity climate presently gripping Finland?

Even if Sipilä states that the new government will not tolerate racism what concrete steps is he going to take to challenge social ills like systemic racism?

This is a good video clip that explains what systemic racism is.

Plans by the new government to begin charging tuition fees to students outside of the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) is a case in point. Another key point that wasn’t even mentioned by Sipilä is relaxing already-tough family reunification laws. Moreover, the new government will ease but not lift restrictions on migrants coming from outside the EU-EEA area. 

Tightening tuition fees for foreigners and doing nothing about family reunification laws will help maintain the present anti-immigration climate in the country, which will scare away those skilled immigrants and foreign investment that the new government seeks.

Another important question that sheds a farcical light on the new government’s immigration policy is why is immigration, like national security, an issue in forming government if we have only  221,900 immigrants living here?  

The knee-jerk response you’d probably hear from the PS is that Finland must take precautionary measures because immigrantion, immigrants and members of our ever-growing culturally diverse society are a threat to our society.

And let’s be sincere: Even if the new government supports labor-based immigration what success will they have in the present anti-immigration climate and that one of the parties in government, the PS, see cultural diversity as a threat?  Even if Sipilä may mean well, he needs a much tougher stand on intolerance. Accepting the PS in government is one thing but allowing them to influence immigration policy for their own political goals is an indication that matters will get worse before they improve.

Considering that Finland has one of the smallest immigrant populations in Europe accounting for about 4% of the population, why is it such a “huge” issue? Is it because the popularity of parties like the PS hinge on anti-immigration rhetoric and because we agree with their false arguments and political urban tales?

Considering that the PS has emerged as the second biggest party in parliament in four years from near-political obscurity shows that they know how to exploit some Finns’ worst fears. It also reveals how little this country has done to challenge racism.

The PS are like a prospector mining for precious metals. They hit fool’s gold and now they are marketing it to you as real gold.

But we should not only focus on the PS for the present anti-cultural diversity climate in Finland. We should ask what the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP) are doing going to bed with an anti-EU, anti-immigration and homophobic party?

Is it because at the end of the day these parties aren’t that different from the PS? Do they agree with most of the anti-immigration and ultranationalistic rhetoric of the PS but the Center Party and NCP just say it differently?

Näyttökuva 2015-5-13 kello 23.31.00
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Even if it may surprise some of you, NCP leader and then Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb stated in 2010 that the ongoing debate on immigration and our ever-growing cultural diversity “reeks of racism, nationalism , populism and xenophobia.”

Has anyone heard Stubb mention the word xenophobia since then? What is he doing today forming part of a government where the leader of the PS has played a key role in openly victimizing immigrants and minorities with racist, nationalistic, populistic and xenophobic discourse?

You know there is something fishy if former conservative Christian Democrat MP Päivi Räsänen is critical of the PS’ anti-immigration rhetoric. The former interior minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday’s Uusi Suomi that Finland’s immigration policy is “so restrictive and controlled” that there would be nothing for the PS to tighten further.

“I don’t know from where the Peruesuomalaiset want to tighten Finland’s immigration policy from the present,” she said.

One of the PS’ favorite targets is so-called humanitarian immigration, which comprises of asylum seekers, refugees and their families through reunification schemes.

While the media and some politicians have made us believe that such asylum seekers and refugees from Africa and the Middle East are a “huge” issue that we should be worried about because they are the only ones moving to Finland, the number of “humanitarian” immigrants account for about 8% of all immigrants, according to Räsänen.

The new government’s immigration policy will serve and fuel our ever-worsening anti-immigration climate.

Matter will only change when Finland begins to loosen our strict immigration policy and not treat immigrants and minorities as political fodder used for farcical shows to feed the media and an ever-xenophobic public.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The 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.

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