Posted on March 31, 2006

Politician Calls for Refugee Crackdown

Aftenposten (Oslo), March 31, 2006

The increasingly popular leader of Norway’s most conservative party has had enough of would-be refugees who commit murder and other serious crimes in Norway. Siv Jensen wants much better control over people seeking asylum.

“Enough’s enough,” Jensen told newspaper VG. People whom she called “ticking time bombs” shouldn’t be allowed to wander around freely in Norway.

Jensen, whose party now ranks as Norway’s largest, according to public opinion polls, wants asylum seekers to be detained in asylum centers until their applications are processed. She also wants the processing time dramatically reduced.

Asylum seekers have committed eight murders and a hijacking since 2000. Most of the crimes have been linked to the offenders’ psychiatric problems.

“The list speaks for itself, and is terribly sad,” Jensen told VG. “This can’t continue. The government has to show that it’s taking action against this.”

The government minister in charge of health issues, Sylvia Brustad of the Labour Party, wouldn’t comment, claiming that it wasn’t appropriate just days after a doctor in Oslo was stabbed to death by a man from Algeria whose application for asylum had been turned down.

The minister in charge of immigration and integration, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, however, agreed that new laws should be evaluated that would ensure extra surveillance of asylum seekers who were turned down.

Hanssen, also from the Labour Party, noted, however, that it’s difficult to determine a person’s psychiatric condition. He also stressed that four asylum centers in Norway already have facilities with round-the-clock surveillance of refugees who have social and psychiatric problems.