Tigthening immigration and asylum policy is putting a noose around our Nordic values

by , under Enrique Tessieri

I spoke this week to a Syrian refugee who got his residence to stay in Finland. He said that his wife and two children are living abroad and cannot come to Finland (because he isn’t working). He stated that he hadn’t been with his wife and children for two years.

After tightening family reunification laws last year, Center Party parliamentary group leader MP Antti Kaikkonen believes that the government has gone too far in tightening immigration policy, according to Lahti-based daily Etelä-Suomen Sanomat. The Center Party believes that the 2,600-euro/month salary requirement to bring your spouse and two children should be changed. 

The suggestion by Kaikkonen has received a flat no from the Blue Reform (“New Perussuomalaiset”*) party that defected in June from the “Old” Perussuomalaiset (PS) party to not lose their ministerial posts since the Center Party and National Coalition Party would not have accepted the PS under Jussi Halla-aho in government.

Halla-aho, who has built his political career on Islamophobia, was convicted In 2012 for ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion.

As we have seen recently, the tightening of Finnish immigration and asylum policy has not only succeeded in killing our empathy for the suffering of others but showed what novices our politicians and decision-makers are when it comes to migration and cultural diversity. We have done great harm to our own values and sense of justice with the tightening of such laws.

The case of the Syrian man who lives in despair because he hasn’t been with his family for two years is not the only case.

When Finns emigrated in mass to North America before World War 2, they not only brought their families but their relatives, neighbors, and friends. The more, the merrier!

Blue Reform MP Simon Elo gives the thumbs down to Kaikkonen’s proposal of loosening family reunification guidelines. Source: Facebook.

The Center Party believes that the 2,600-euro-net-salary limit to bring a spouse and two children is too high. According to Pekka Myrskylä, a retired Statistics Finland researcher, only 20% of Finns would qualify for family reunification.  Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

Racism, bigotry, suspicion, and ignorance force us to make poor and inhumane decisions that even we consider unjust. Family reunification guidelines are a case in point. Apart from poor decisions, we squander as well talent and opportunity.

Nordic values like mutual respect, social equality, and social fairness are the basis of our societies. Strict immigration and asylum laws and demoting Others to second- and third-class citizenship status are the most effective way of destroying what our societies are based on.

* After the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity.  One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic. Both could be called the “new” and “old” PS. 

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.

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