Finland Joins Sweden in Migrant Backlash by Sending 20,000 Asylum Seekers Packing

Josh Pettitt, The Sun, January 29, 2016

Finland is the latest country to announce plans to boot out migrants, with plans to send 20,000 packing.

The Finnish government is set to deport two thirds of the 32,000 asylum seekers it received last year whose applications have been turned down.

More than 20,000 of Finland’s asylum-seekers are from Iraq.

The announcement comes after Sweden said it would send 80,000 asylum seekers back to their home countries on chartered flights.

The two Nordic countries are both struggling to cope with an unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants fleeing war and misery in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Paivi Nerg, director of Finland’s interior ministry, said: “In principle we speak of about two-thirds, meaning approximately 65 per cent of the 32,000 will get a negative decision (to their asylum application).”

Ms Nerg said Finland was making it harder for migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia to claims asylum.

Finland is also in diplomatic negotiations with neighbouring Russia to stop migrants, who are funneling down from the now barred Norway border, from entering Finland via the Arctic region.

She said that the ministry is planning to set up separate transit centres for those to be deported from those wanting to leave the country on a voluntary basis.

The deportations will take place gradually as immigration authorities process applications. Two chartered flights to deport Iraqis have already been scheduled in the coming months.

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