Assimilation Responsibilities for Migrants, Refugees, Immigrants
"During the Iraq war, Sodertalje, a small Swedish municipality, took more Iraqi refugees than the U.S. and U.K. combined."Mr. Springare, the police investigator who broke the silence on what is occurring in Sweden with its intake of immigrants and refugees, mostly Muslim, in posting on Facebook the case files littering his desk listed the first names of the suspects in those files, but not the identifying last names. Even so, all could be identified as of Middle Eastern background, with the sole exception of one.
"Sweden is experiencing a clash of ideals."
Daniel Schatz, visiting scholar, Sweden
"What I've been handling Monday, Friday this week: Rape, rape, serious rape, assault rape, blackmail, blackmail, assault in court, threats, attack against police, threats against police, drugs, serious drugs, attempted murder, rape again, blackmail again, and abuse....."
Peter Springare, investigator, Orebro police department
"Immigration has most likely played a part in the crime rates. But we have many, many poor people living in poor areas so it's not only about immigration."
"That said, poverty doesn't necessarily cause crime, but when there are lots of social problems there will be more of other problems."
Manne Gerell, lecturer, Malmo University
There was a surprising -- or unsurprising, depending on your perspective -- response from the public. His police station was inundated with flowers sent by hundreds of people. That, and the fact that over 170,000 people joined a support Facebook group, spoke volumes about a national problem of huge significance that Swedish authorities have been busy playing down. His descriptive angst, said his superiors, was nothing they could relate to, nor recognize.
|Riots broke out in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby Monday, during the arrest of a street crime suspect. CNN|
His claims of criminal offences and extreme violence emanating from the intake of Muslims a complete fabrication, since nothing of that sort has occurred within the generous nation. So generous that the plight of people living in poverty who are of indigenous Swedish origin appears not to have been addressed; instead national authorities have seen fit to throw the country's gates wide open to embrace refugees from elsewhere in the world, fleeing poverty which Sweden's social welfare will ameliorate.
A year and a half earlier, the country's immigration system offered lifetime protection for those entering its borders, and a robust family reunification scheme, as long as those entering were to be considered legitimate refugees. That sweet generosity encouraged roughly 163,000 people to arrive and claim that protection. The country of ten million now feels fairly inundated and has tightened its rules, so that family reunification has become difficult to attain and protection is subject to review one or three years on.
By 2014 the Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigration political party, had gained 12.9 percent of the parliamentary elections vote, raising them to third largest national party status, an increase of great significance from their status eight years earlier of 2.9 percent support. Infamously, Malmo, the country's third largest city with its 350,000 population, has seen a sweeping increase in its murder rate, now recognized as the highest among Scandinavian countries; 3.4 annually per 100,000 citizens.
Over 40 percent of Malmo's residents or their parents were born elsewhere. Their foreign heritage links them to the high crime rates in the city. Long-time immigrants themselves remark that integration has not proceeded well. Lebanese-born Maher Dabour who arrived in the 1980s feels there is a problem in the manner in which migrants are exposed to societal differences. "They didn't manage to explain to us how to be citizens. It's not enough to give money", he stated defensively.
|Volunteers hand food and drink to refugees arriving at Malmo station in Sweden in September 2015. CNN|
An odd interpretation, leaving no responsibility on the part of the immigrant; not only must the state give immigrants funding to make a new life for themselves, but the onus is on it to guide them step-by-step in assuming their new country's values and priorities to achieve assimilation. In earlier eras when people emigrated from European countries to North America to escape poverty and racism, they were given no funding to establish themselves, no government sponsored language lessons and subsidized housing.
They exerted themselves to find employment, to learn how to communicate, to absorb acceptable social values in their new, adopted countries, and valued the citizenship they eventually obtained while obeying the rules and regulations, the laws of the land as they aspired to advance themselves into the future, as a personal responsibility.
|An officer guard the home for asylum seekers where a worker was stabbed to death in 2016. CNN|