Sweden May Reject Thousands of Asylum Applications

Radina Gigova et al., CNN, January 28, 2016

Sweden’s interior minister said his country is preparing to expel 80,000 asylum-seekers over the course of the next year, according to media reports.

However, his press secretary, Victor Harju, told CNN not to put too much stock in those figures. He called them vague, hypothetical estimates based on last year’s numbers.

“It’s that 163,00 people were seeking asylum in Sweden last year and, due to this increase, there will also be an increase in how many . . . don’t stay,” he said.

On average, about 45% of those applications get rejected, Harju said, which adds up to about 80,000, the figure that Interior Minister Anders Ygeman cited.

That’s a higher rate of acceptance than the European Union’s in which 45% of those applying for asylum for the first time (so-called first instance asylum decisions) received “positive outcomes.”

 

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Harju said Sweden was already considering charter flights to deport migrants whose bids for asylum were denied, saying the government was investigating how such expenses should be accounted for in the budget.

Sweden also was considering coordinating charter flights with Germany for this purpose, he said.

The Swedish Migration Agency told CNN in an email that the charter flights would carry migrants who accepted the decision to deport them. In cases where an individual did not accept the decision to be deported, the case would be referred to police, the agency said.

 

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