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Deputy National Police Commissioner Sanna Heikinheimo and National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen shed light on the police’s role in removing unsuccessful asylum seekers from the country in a press conference in Helsinki on Tuesday, 3 April.
Deputy National Police Commissioner Sanna Heikinheimo and National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen shed light on the police’s role in removing unsuccessful asylum seekers from the country in a press conference in Helsinki on Tuesday, 3 April.

 

“Police have recently suspended nearly a half of the planned removals of unsuccessful asylum applicants,” Seppo Kolehmainen, the National Police Commissioner of Finland, revealed in a press release on Tuesday.

“The removals have been called off on grounds of the applicant renewing their application, for example,” he added.

The Police of Finland organised a press conference yesterday to shed light on its role and responsibilities in the removals of unsuccessful asylum seekers, assuring that its intention is to carry out the removals as effectively as possible while proactively taking into consideration the various possible obstacles to returning an unsuccessful applicant to their home country.

“The police does not criticise the decision making or question the prevalent legislation but performs the removal responsibilities assigned to it resolutely,” the press release reads.

The removals of unsuccessful asylum seekers are expected to increase in the near future as roughly 10,000 unsuccessful applicants continue to wait in reception centres for either their removal or a decision on their appeal against the initial asylum decision. Illegal residence, similarly, is projected to increase due to a share of the unsuccessful applicants refusing to leave Finland.

Unsuccessful asylum seekers, however, accounted for less than a fifth of the 2,600 removals performed by police officers in 2017, the press release indicates.

Kolehmainen underlined that it is crucial for internal security to, first, expedite the processing of asylum applications and, second, ensure that the applicant either begins their integration process or is removed from the country without any undue delay.

“This is important also for the people themselves. Foreigners residing in the country illegally or waiting for their removal from the country are in a vulnerable position,” he explained.

The removals of unsuccessful asylum seekers have recently stirred up considerable public debate in Finland. Deputy National Police Commissioner Sanna Heikinheimo reminded that the police has only limited opportunities to participate in the debate as it is unable to comment on individual cases.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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