Sweden Strengthens Crackdown On Illegal Migrants

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Sweden is becoming more adamant about restricting illegal migrants due to rising crime rates, Reuters reported Thursday.

According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention crimes against an individual in 2016 rose 7 percent, with approximately 275,000 reported incidents. There was also a 20 percent increase in the amount of sexual molestation reported in 2016, with 10,500 incidents compared to 8,840 incidents in 2014.

Sweden’s popular Bråvalla music festival was also canceled for 2018, after four rapes and 23 sexual assaults at the outdoor gathering were reported to the police in 2017. The victims allege that many of the men who carried out the attacks were of foreign origin. Due to the increase in crime, police have been increasingly watchful of the migrant population.

Swedish police are more rigorously checking immigration papers, netting illegal workers and sending warnings to employers to search for illegal migrants.

“Before there was a lot of tolerance for migrants. Now the laws are harder,” said Nicaraguan migrant Hugo Eduardo Somarriba Quintero to Reuters. He claimed to be wrongly detained during a raid in May and was later released from the detention center.

Expanded police powers include workplace checks without concrete suspicion of a crime and sharply higher fines for employing illegal immigrants. Sweden was ranked the best country to be an immigrant, according to a survey for US News on July 10.

The EU’s overall population grew to 512 million in 2017, growing by 1.5 million due to the growth of migrant population.

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Gabrielle Okun