Posted on March 5, 2012

Sweden Democrats in Bid to ‘Help’ Immigrants Leave

The Local, March 5, 2012

Sweden Democrats’ youth wing wants to entice jobless immigrants to leave the country by offering them “goodie bags” complete with tips on how to facilitate immigrants’ departure.

The project, entitled “There’s no place like home” (‘Borta bra men hemma bäst’), is designed to allow immigrants the opportunity to better understand the options and possibilities available to help them return to their home soil.

“We are convinced that among the many immigrants in Sweden who have ended up in alienation and social isolation the dream of being able to go back to their home land and reunite with their countrymen is still alive,” wrote the Sweden Democrat youth organization (Sverigedemokratisk Ungdom — SDU) in a statement.

Plans call for the party to distribute 10,000 “goodie bags” filled with USB memory sticks, DVDs, and other information in various languages about how to apply for repatriation grants.

In order to pay for the project, the SDU has applied for 100,000 kronor ($14,957) from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), which allows any organization to seek support for repatriation projects.

Should the funding request be approved, the SDU plans on targeting immigrants who have been granted permanent residency in Sweden but have not paid taxes over the past ten years.

“It’s aimed at those who haven’t succeeded in getting a job and fitting in to Swedish culture,” SDU head Gustav Kasselstrand told the Expressen newspaper.

But Migration Board spokesperson Johan Rahm dismissed the SDU bid as mere “propaganda”.

“This looks more like some sort of propaganda statement where they’re trying to persuade people to go back,” he told Sveriges Radio (SR).

According to Rahm, the agency generally receives funding requests from organizations with “deep” ties to other countries that are focused on helping diaspora populations and people that were forced to flee from their home countries.

Speaking with Expressen, Rahm argued that SDU’s plans were “a way to draw attention to their politics, not to help people who dream of returning” to their home countries.