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Sweden Set To Deport 80,000 Refugees To Other EU Countries

REUTERS/Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

Sweden has moved to deport more than half of the refugees who sought asylum in the country in 2015.

Up to 80,000 refugees in the country will be flown on chartered planes to the countries where they first applied for asylum in Europe, in accordance with the Dublin Regulation for resettlement of refugees. Greece will likely have to carry a majority of the burden.

The 80,000 number is based on a forecast that at least 45 percent of the 163,000 refugees that came to the country in 2015 will be rejected asylum.

“We’re not talking about 60,000 to 80,000 in one year,” Migration Minister Morgan Johansson told public television station SVT. “It will be spread out over the course of a few years depending on how long their appeal processes take.”

The Office of Immigration take between 15 and 24 months to process an application at the moment due to the high demand. The refugees can appeal a rejection, which will further delay the deportations.

Another challenge will be the refugees who refuse to leave and disappear without a paper trail to track them down.

 

“A rough estimate is that one in three rejections become so-called ‘difficult cases,'” Mikael Ribbenvik, chief of operations at the Office of Immigration, told public radio network SR Thursday. “They refuse to leave and don’t have proper documentation to follow through on the deportation.”

The decision comes in response to declining poll numbers for the current government. Support for the ruling Social Democrats is down to 23 percent, the lowest they’ve ever had. The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats have grown from 4 to 18 percent since it was first elected to the parliament in 2010.

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