9 in 10 Deportees From Sweden Get to Stay by Rejecting COVID-19 Test

A group of migrants off an incoming train are escorted by Swedish police officers as they gather on the platform at the Swedish end of the bridge between Sweden and Denmark in Malmo Sweden. Swedish police are urging people traveling to and from neighboring countries on Thursday to bring their passports or other identification documents as the country introduces temporary border controls. The move announced by the government late Wednesday means that Sweden is temporarily suspending the European Union’s passport-free travel rules to control the flow of migrants entering the country from Denmark and Germany. (Stig Ake Jonsson/TT via AP) SWEDEN OUT

by Igor Kuznetsov

Those slated for deportation, including criminal aliens, make use of a loophole in which taking the COVID test, which is demanded by the host country, is voluntary.

Expulsions of rejected immigrants and criminal aliens in Sweden have nearly come to a halt due to current COVID-19 routines. Apparently a deportee’s refusal to take a test throws a wrench into the system.

According to the Swedish police’s national operational department, Noa, about nine in of ten deportees refuse to be tested for COVID-19 and are able to stop their own deportation, the newspaper Expressen reported.

The background is that most recipient countries require a negative PCR test for entry. According to Swedish law, the test is voluntary and cannot be enforced.

Those who have been in custody long enough must eventually be released if they continue to refuse to get tested, Mikael Holmgren, acting head of the Border Police Section in Region West warned earlier in May. Then they can simply “disappear”, which includes people who have committed serious crimes such as murder and rape.

Given the dead-end situation, the liberal-conservative Moderate Party now wants to change the law so that people slated for deportation can be forcibly tested.

“We risk losing control of who gets to stay in the country. It is also clear that we risk eroding people’s trust,” the party’s immigration spokesperson Maria Malmer Stenergard told the newspaper Expressen.

On Facebook, they launched a campaign under the motto “A no is a no”, calling the current system “a great betrayal of the victims” and cautioning that and it “loosens up regulated immigration”.

However, Justice Minister Morgan Johansson of the Social Democrats called compulsory testing earlier in May a “very far-reaching measure” which he is “not prepared to consider”.

In 2019, the Swedish Migration Board sealed 17,896 return cases. Of these, 47 percent returned voluntarily while 43 percent were handed over to the police. This is done if the person in question has avoided deportation or coercion is ruled to be necessary to carry out the deportation.



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